Standard Life to set up ‘savings gap’ foundation with unclaimed shares

standard_lifeStandard Life has said about £90m worth of unclaimed shares left over from its demutualisation 10 years ago could be made available to charities through a new foundation.

The Edinburgh-based pensions group announced the initiative at its AGM this week and would see it is to set up a multi-million pound charitable foundation that will seek to find ways of closing the “savings gap” in the UK.

The savings gap, also known as the pensions gap, refers to the difference between what people are currently saving for retirement and what they will actually need once they stop work.

Total proceeds from the Unclaimed Asset Trust (UAT) will depend on the share price, the company said.

The UAT is due to be wound up in July after almost a decade.

Sir Gerry Grimstone
Sir Gerry Grimstone

The move was announced by chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone at the AGM, which was held outside of Scotland for the first time in the firm’s history.

Sir Gerry told shareholders the London meeting that the foundation would be “one of the largest bodies of its type in the UK”.

He added: “The savings gap is an issue that touches, directly and indirectly, many millions of people in the UK.

“And it is in this area that the foundation will work to support public interest research, practical activities and other very worthwhile work too.”

The move comes after fellow Edinburgh-based insurance firm, Aegon UK, revealed that nine out of 10 Scots are set to miss their pension target, with the firm’s new research finding that the average Scot is set to be more than £20,000 worse off than they expect in retirement.

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