The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, has called on pensions funds and asset managers to renounce their short-sighted obsession with "quarterly capitalism" and invest in companies that tackle environmental and social challenges as they deliver the best long-term returns.
In a recorded statement for the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the Prince of Wales raised concerns about whether the U.K.'s pensions system is designed to cope with a changing planet and ageing population.
"It falls to you (pension funds), I'm afraid, to help shape a system designed for the 21st and not 19th century," he said.
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"We are facing what could be described as a perfect storm," Prince Charles continued. "The combination of pollution and overconsumption of finite natural resources, the very real and accumulating risk of catastrophic climate change, unprecedented levels of financial indebtedness and a population of seven billion that is rising fast.
"With an ageing population and pension fund liabilities that are therefore stretching out for many decades, surely the current focus on quarterly capitalism is becoming increasingly unfit for purpose."
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According to Age U.K., the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise by nearly 50 percent in the next 20 years to over 16 million, and by 2083, roughly one in three people in the U.K. will be over 60.
Research from the Prudential earlier this year revealed that a fifth of people claiming their state pension this year will have an income below the poverty line, which is £8,254 ($13,268) according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Prudential interviewed over 8,000 non-retired adults over 45, including 1,007 who intend to retire in 2013, and found that 14 percent do not have a private pension.
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