The European Commission introduced the package against the backdrop of an ageing EU population and longer life expectancy. The European Commission claims that long-term investments in capital markets could help people achieve higher and more sustainable returns and a complementary income for their retirement. At the same time, the amount of long-term orientated capital channeled into the economy should increase.
If “consumers' interests are at the centre” and if the proposal aims at “higher and more sustainable returns and a complementary income for their retirement”, it should include positive impact on people and planet. The package should acknowledge the need for a healthy and prosperous retirement, besides sufficient financial means for the ageing generation.
Economic systems based on the extraction of resources, both physical (material and commons) and social (people), will not add to that prosperity. For investments, this implies realigning profit-generating activities with positive outcomes for both people and nature, and impact-risk-return as the guiding principle instead of risk-return.
Triodos Bank also believes that the proposal should facilitate individual investors to choose the value for money they aim for with a simple comparison tool. This benchmark would have to enable them to compare retail investment products as much on their impact on society and nature as on their financial value. Rather than comparing costs only, Triodos Bank advocates a fair comparison of products suitable for retirement savings, acknowledging the need for both financial and social value.