Coda adds Shariah compliant fund

Financial systems firm Coda has added a pension investment fund to its group personal pension (GPP) that meets the needs of Islamic Shariah law, following feedback from Muslim staff who were unable to join the scheme on religious grounds.

Shariah law restricts the payment and receipt of interest, which prevents some Muslims from investing in equities, including pension funds that contain them.

The Shariah-compliant fund, provided by Friends Provident, does not derive income from activities related to alcohol, pork, conventional financial services, gambling, tobacco, armaments and genetic experimentation. It will also not use any form of interest-based accounts or instruments such as bonds.

Dave Belmont, company secretary at Coda, said: “This was the first time a member of staff had told me they had religious objections to joining a pension scheme. My concern is how many other employees feel they cannot join a company pension for religious reasons, and whether this concern is recognised by all pensions professionals.”