1. What is the most recent available value of the local authority’s pension fund?
2. What is the value of the fund’s directly-held investment in shares or bonds of the following companies: British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco International, Altria Group Inc, Philip Morris International, Universal Corp, Alliance One International?
3. What is the total combined value of the fund’s directly-held investments in the companies named above?
4. What income did the fund receive from these investments in the last 12-month period for which records are available?
5. Does the fund have any other investments in tobacco via pooled investments? What is the value of these?
With respect to questions 2-5, please see the attached spreadsheet available via the link:
The Investment and Pension Fund Committee of the Devon Pension Fund acts independently of Devon County Council, on behalf of the 200 plus local employers across the South West and in the interests of the 100,000 plus pensioners and their families who rely on the fund for their pension.
The Devon Pension Fund has a fiduciary duty to seek to obtain the best financial return that it can for its members, and while social, environmental and ethical concerns neither inhibit the delivery of the fund’s investment strategy or impose restrictions on the type of investment, the Devon Pension Fund also seeks to be a long term responsible investor. The Devon Fund’s policy is to support engagement with companies to effect change, rather than disinvestment.
Investment in tobacco currently represents around 1% of overall investments in the Fund.
6. What is the local authority’s annual spend on smoking-related illness?
Devon County Council is not a health authority and therefore does not have responsibility for smoking related illnesses. We therefore do not hold the information you are seeking.
7. Please supply the number of deaths attributable to smoking in the local authority areas covered by your pension fund. Your Director of Public Health or equivalent should be able to supply this figure.
For smoking-related deaths the Public Health England Tobacco Control Profile provides information.
The latest release was June last year with smoking-related deaths covering the period 2014 to 2016:
There were 3,711 smoking-related deaths in Devon in this period equating to 1,237 per annum and the age-standardised rate per 100,000 (214.6) was significantly below the England rate (272.0).