UK pensions regulator issues first fine over TCFD disclosure failings
The UK’s Pension Regulator (TPR) has for the first time fined a scheme for failing to disclose its climate change report in time.
TPR has fined the £4.9bn ExxonMobil Pension Plan £5,000 for failing to meet new regulations, developed from the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Under the UK’s new rules, corporate DB schemes were obliged to publish their climate change report by May 2023 on a publicly available website.
ExxonMobil trustees highlighted that although the report had been produced by the deadline, it was not published due to an administrative error. It had in fact been published, though with a six day delay.
The new climate reporting rules to not yet apply to the country’s Local Authority Pension Schemes. However, many LGPS funds and some pools have already released TCFD reports.
TPR said that the new rules applied to more than 80 schemes and that it had monitored compliance.
Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director for Frontline Regulation, said: “In our role to protect savers, we take climate change requirements extremely seriously. Our case against the ExxonMobil Pension Plan shows we will and must act by using the mandatory fining regime set out in law.
“This will continue as we analyse the second phase of climate change reporting, when smaller schemes will be required to report” she added.
The announcement of TPR’s fine comes as the regulator publishes its latest compliance and enforcement bulletin, showing how it used its powers from January to June 2023. It said that it now intends to name schemes which fail to comply with climate reporting rules.