House of Lords
Pension Bill - including requirements to report on green credentials - passes first hurdle

The Pension Schemes Bill, which will bolstering protections for savers and mandate pension schemes to adopt climate reporting - based on recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) - has cleared the first hurdle in the House of Lords. 

The bill seeks to ensure that occupational pension schemes take climate change into account as both a risk and an opportunity, and compel trustees to disclose how they have done so to their members and the public.

The government tabled several amendments to the Bill that add requirements for schemes to take the government’s net zero targets into account, as well as the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise of average global temperatures, for the purposes of managing their own climate risk. 

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman said:

With this Bill, we’re pushing ahead with our innovative and ambitious pensions agenda, one that delivers for the record numbers of people saving for retirement.

This government has already taken a leading global role in tackling climate change and cutting emissions. The measures introduced through this Bill will help towards protecting the planet and contribute to long-term member outcomes.

The Pension Schemes Bill is a milestone in bringing pensions into the digital age. I am looking forward to guiding it through the House of Commons.

Through the introduction of pension dashboards and steps to protect savers from scams by tightening the rules and guidance required around transfers, the Bill will advance the government’s goal of ensuring that savers are provided with the necessary support and information they need to make informed choices about their financial futures.

It will strengthen protections for pension savers by extending the Pensions Regulator’s sanctions regime, introducing the power to issue civil penalties of up to £1 million and three new criminal offences, including a new sentence of up to seven years in prison for bosses who run pension schemes into the ground or plunder them to line their own pockets.

These new measures will deter employers from making reckless decisions with their defined benefit schemes and strengthen the Regulator’s powers to take efficient and timely actions to protect members’ pension pots.