Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil’s pension plan has become the first scheme to be fined by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to report on trustees’ management and governance of climate-related risks and opportunities. The pension plan was fined £5,000 (US$6,098) for failing to meet new TPR regulations, which have been developed from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ recommendations. For pension schemes to meet regulatory requirements they must publish their climate change report by a set deadline on a publicly available website to assure members that trustees are making decisions which consider climate risks and opportunities. TPR was unable to locate the Exxon Pension Plan’s report online and contacted the scheme’s trustees, with the report being published six days later. ExxonMobil’s trustees stressed that the report had been produced by the deadline but had not published due to an “administrative error”. Nicola Parish, Executive Director for Frontline Regulation at TPR, 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. The case serves as a warning to trustees about the importance of having proper governance and oversight where third parties are carrying out tasks on their behalf.”
We’ve issued our first fine against a pension scheme for failing to publish its annual climate change report. The scheme is named in our latest compliance and enforcement bulletin, which shows how we used our powers from Jan to June 2023.
— ThePensionsRegulator (@TPRgovuk) September 28, 2023