About abrdn Financial Fairness Trust

We are an independent charitable foundation. We fund and commission research, policy work and campaigning. Our mission is to improve living standards and tackle financial problems facing people on low-to-middle incomes. Our name recognises the historic donation from abrdn plc (formerly Standard Life) which led to the foundation of the Trust.

What we do

Our mission

Our mission is to contribute towards strategic change which improves financial well-being in the UK. We want everyone to have a decent standard of living and control over their finances.

Grant making

We award grants and commission research, campaigning and policy work to make the UK a more financially fair place for people on low-to-middle incomes.

How we work

We believe in collaboration, working closely with our funded partners, which includes a wide range of universities, think-tanks and voluntary organisations.

Our focus on financial well-being

We support projects which lead to widespread, systemic change.

Our focus is on strategic work that addresses root causes, rather than supporting individual beneficiaries. We believe this is a more sustainable approach to improving financial well-being across the UK.

Our funding programmes focus on income, spending and assets.

To complement the grants we have made, we have also commissioned and initiated projects including the Financial Fairness Tracker and the Pensions Review.

At a time of significant change in the UK policy landscape, we are particularly focused on improving living standards in retirement, ensuring taxes are fairer, and improving the safety net that millions rely on. 

Read our research

Our history

We were established in 2009 and became Standard Life Foundation in 2017 upon receiving a substantial donation from the unclaimed assets following Standard Life’s demutualisation. 

At this time, our constitution, governance structure and name were all revised to align with this change.

Standard Life plc merged in 2017 to become Standard Life Aberdeen, and in 2021 became abrdn plc. We took this opportunity to choose a new, more descriptive, name for the organisation. From December 2021 we became abrdn Financial Fairness Trust.

Our new, mission-led name, also recognises the help and support provided by the company, from which we receive in-kind donations of office space and professional support.
Standard Life 1825-2000 history


We are governed by a board of trustees who are responsible for the work we do and how we do it, including setting and overseeing the delivery of our strategy and objectives. Whilst abrdn plc is our sole member, it respects our right to create our own strategy and to speak out about the social issues we are seeking to address.

Our people

Trustees and staff

Our trustees are independent and have a broad range of skills, experiences and backgrounds. One of our ten trustees is appointed by, and is an employee of, abrdn. We have a team of staff who are based in our Edinburgh and London offices.

Our programmes

We fund research, campaigning and policy work to improve living standards and personal finances for people on low to middle incomes in the UK.