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ExxonMobil Pension Plan - Regulatory intervention report

This report outlines how we issued our first fine for failure to meet climate change reporting duties.

Case summary

Under climate change reporting duties, trustees of certain schemes have a legal requirement to publish a climate change report by a set deadline. This must be on a publicly available website and accessible free of charge.

We issued a mandatory fine to the trustees of the ExxonMobil Pension Plan for failing to publish its report on time.


Climate change has the potential to cause material financial consequences to savers’ retirements. It has risks and opportunities that trustees must take account of in their decision making so that savers are protected. Pensions are long term investments so trustees should be considering the long-term impact of climate change on saver outcomes.

In October 2021, regulations came into force to improve pension scheme governance and reporting of climate-related risks and opportunities. These regulations mean trustees of certain schemes need to identify, assess and manage climate-related risks and opportunities, and set these out in a report.


The reporting requirements, which were developed from the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), state trustees must publish their climate change report on a publicly available website. It should be accessible free of charge and published by a deadline, which is within seven months of the scheme’s most recent scheme year end date. The requirements help ensure transparency, so that savers can be assured trustees are making decisions which take into account climate risks and opportunities.


The duties are being applied in a phased approach, starting with the largest schemes. Trustees of schemes with assets of £5 billion or more were the first schemes to come in scope of the requirement to publish a climate change report.

Failure to comply with the requirement to correctly publish a climate change report on time carries a mandatory penalty, with a minimum of £2,500. The maximum penalty is £5,000 where a trustee is an individual, or £50,000 where the trustee is a corporate body.

Regulatory action

The ExxonMobil Pension Plan has around 20,000 members and is in surplus, with market value assets of more than £7 billion, and its size meant that it fell into the scope of the first group of schemes to which the TCFD regulations applied.

After being unable to locate the ExxonMobil Pension Plan’s online report, which was due to be published by 31 July 2022, we contacted the scheme trustees. They confirmed to us that, while they had produced the report and the scheme administrators had uploaded it by the deadline, a faulty URL meant the report was not published on a publicly available website until 10 August.

We notified the trustees that we were considering issuing a mandatory penalty for this breach in March 2023. They responded that having provided the report to the administrators, they believed it had been published on a publicly available website and they had not realised the URL was not functional. In a detailed written response, the trustees assured us they took their climate reporting obligations seriously and that their non-compliance was inadvertent.

As the scheme had failed to meet the deadline, we issued a mandatory penalty of £5,000 in May 2023. In line with our monetary penalties policy we applied an amount above the minimum because it was a corporate body and to reflect the nature of the breach. The matter was resolved in July 2023 when the ExxonMobil Pension Plan trustees paid the penalty.


ExxonMobil Pension Plan members are now able to easily access that scheme’s climate change report on a free of charge, publicly available website.

Our approach

This case shows that failure to comply with the requirement to correctly publish a climate change report on time will lead to financial penalty.

In this case, the trustees had expected their scheme administrator to publish the report. It highlights the fact that, while administrators support schemes with their duties, trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring climate reporting requirements are met.

The case also demonstrates we are closely monitoring compliance with this climate reporting duty. It warns we will take enforcement action, where appropriate, to ensure schemes meet their obligations.

Our regulatory powers enable us to publish information about how we regulate. This is for transparency and to educate through lessons learned. Schemes that receive a penalty for failing to publish their climate change report, will be named in our bi-annual compliance and enforcement bulletin.