Savers whose cash is pooled in UK pension funds have "no legal right" to know where their money is invested, according to a report by ShareAction, the campaign group.
Two thirds of working age adults have a pension, yet the funds these comprise remain "acutely unaccountable" to savers who invest in them, said the report entitled Our Money, Our Business.
The report, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, claimed that although company directors are increasingly expected to be accountable to their shareholders, shareholders themselves remain unaccountable to savers who invest in their funds.
"Through our pensions we are the true owners of some of the world's biggest companies, but savers aren't listened to by their pension providers even though many have pertinent views on issues like pay and environmental standards at the companies in their pension fund," said Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction.
"But pension savers are shut out of the investment system and denied the opportunity to have their say. Giving savers a voice will help to rebuild trust in a broken financial system."
ShareAction found that when individual savers contacted their pension funds to ask how they were voting on executive pay, most were either ignored or "fobbed off" with generic replies.
The report called for savers to have new rights to information that will close the "accountability gap" in the UK pensions industry.
It recommends that individual savers should have the right to hold pension fund boards to account at annual meetings just as individual shareholders can meet and challenge company directors at annual general meetings.