The minister also wants managers and their trade bodies to answer all reasonable requests from clients on their voting and stewardship activity, rather than just signing up to industry templates and complying with Financial Conduct Authority rules.
"I am keen to monitor progress on this matter carefully, as the TPSVI recommended that, if adoption by managers is slow, then the issue should be referred to the Law Commission to propose structures that give owners the necessary rights," Mr. Opperman wrote in the letter.
Asset owners that are members of the U.K. Occupational Pensions Stewardship Council, which shapes voting standards in the U.K., also called on managers to pay more attention to the voting priorities of retirement plans.
In a separate letter, 17 of the council's retirement plan members called on CEOs and chairmen of money management firms to tell them what steps they are taking to improve.
Commenting on both efforts, Diandra Soobiah, head of responsible investment at the £20 billion ($26.7 billion) National Employment Savings Trust, London, said: "We support this campaign. Whilst many of NEST's investments are in segregated accounts which allow us to set a voting policy and engage with our managers about voting decisions, we believe these options should be available to all. Pension funds should not need to change how they hold their assets to gain a voice."
Carol Young, trustee director of the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan, London, added: "These proposed changes will help pension schemes play a more influential role in areas including shareholder resolutions, climate change and corporate governance."