UK pensions regulator warns pension schemes on climate disclosures

An iceberg floats in a fjord near the town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s pensions regulator will consider enforcement action against pension schemes that do not make mandatory climate risk disclosures, it said on Wednesday.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said it was calling on scheme trustees to protect pensions savers from climate risk, ahead of proposed regulations requiring trustees of larger schemes to keep track of their climate change exposure.

“Where we do not see schemes complying with the rules, we will consider enforcement action,” David Fairs, the watchdog’s executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice said in a statement.

UK regulators and policymakers have urged financial services groups and companies across a range of sectors to better understand and plan for climate change-related risks and opportunities.

Proposals under the Pension Schemes Act will require larger schemes to make public their assessment of climate-related risks using the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

Later in the year, TPR will publish guidance for schemes to help them comply with the new rules, and will also encourage trustees to reflect climate change in the building of their investment portfolios and talks with their investment managers.

Will Martindale, group head of sustainability at pensions consultant Cardano UK, said he expected the regulator’s strategy to lead to “major progress in climate-related financial governance, reporting and investment decision-making”.

By the end of 2023, TPR said it expects 81% of pension scheme members and 74% of occupational pension scheme assets to be covered by the TCFD reporting rules.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn and Simon Jessop; Editing by Saikat Chatterjee and Barbara Lewis