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Climate | 20 October 2020

Template letter to pension schemes
Climate finance

Template letter to pension schemes

Is your pension scheme falling behind with its obligations on climate change?

As a pension scheme member, you can ask questions about the decisions that underpin your pension. We want them to make it easy for you to find out how they are taking climate change into account.

Email your pension scheme(s) today to find out how seriously they’re taking their obligations in relation to climate change. You can do this by taking the following action:

  1. Copy the text below
  2. Feel free to personalise it (including your name at the bottom) and, if possible, add a personal identifier which will tell your scheme you are a member (for example, this could be a membership or arrangement number).
  3. Send the email to your pension scheme.

Subject line: Pension scheme exposure to climate-related financial risks

Dear Sir or Madam,

As a member, I am concerned about the impact of Climate Risk on my pension savings in the Scheme (defined below).

Climate change is one of the biggest systemic risks facing humanity, with governments, regulators, business leaders and institutional investors all expressing concern and taking action to reduce its impacts. These range from the physical manifestations of climate change on real estate, supply chains and businesses to the influence of technological innovation on the development of low-carbon solutions such as renewable energy and energy storage.

Climate change poses material financial risks (”Climate Risk”) to investments across asset classes and industries including the investments of the pension scheme you manage (the “Scheme”). I hope that the Scheme is already managing this exposure, but would be grateful if you could tell me what actions have been taken, and are being taken, to manage Climate Risk or send me the relevant sources. This should include whether the Scheme:

  1. has received advice from its advisers on Climate Risk;
  2. has in place investment beliefs and policies in respect of Climate Risk;
  3. has carried out a review of its advisers’ and asset managers’ Climate Risk competence;
  4. has assessed the exposure of its investments, including any default funds it offers to members, to Climate Risk, including by conducting scenario analysis;
  5. has set itself targets to assess and manage that exposure to Climate Risk;
  6. engages robustly with investee companies in relation to climate change with specific targets;
  7. reports publically in line with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures; and
  8. has a strategic climate change policy, which includes strategies to pursue the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement or ‘Net-zero’ strategies.

I am not sure whether the Scheme is trust- or contract-based.  Please could you let me know?  In addition, to better help me understand your responses to these questions, please could you also provide me with a copy of the following documents by email:

  1. information about the Scheme’s constitution, including (if applicable) its Trust Deed and Rules (as amended);
  2. the Scheme’s latest annual report and accounts;
  3. the Scheme’s statement of investment principles and implementation statements (if applicable); and
  4. details of (i) the fund(s) in which my pensions savings are currently invested; and (ii) any other investment options available to members such as myself.

I would be grateful for a response to my questions within 28 days.  Please be aware that your answers may be shared with a third party.

Yours faithfully

[Your name]

[Member identifier]