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Latest developments


A timeline of the latest regulatory and legal developments in sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for pension funds in the UK.

Upcoming in June 2018: DWP announces plans to consult on the legal duty of trustees to take account of ESG risks

May 2018 Parliament finds a mixed response to climate change amongst the UK’s top 25 pension funds

April 2018 Law firm, Pinsent Masons, calls for pension trustees to proactively address climate risk and consider the impact of environmental factors on investment performance or risk breaching their fiduciary duties

March 2018 Parliament writes to the top 25 pension funds in the UK to ask how they manage climate risks

December 2017 Government announces plans to clarify legislation around how pension funds consider broader long-term financial risks, and their ability to consider non-financial or ethical concerns

November 2017 Activist lawyers, ClientEarth, highlight that pension advisers who fail to address climate change in their advice to clients could face legal implications in the future

June 2017 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) publishes final recommendations, including guidance for asset owners like pension funds

June 2017 Law Commission’s Pension Funds and Social Investment report finds no substantive regulatory barriers to social investment by pension funds

May 2017  The Actuarial Profession issues a climate risk alert to its members in relation to the financial risks posed by climate change

March 2017 Latest investment guidance from The Pensions Regulator states Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes should take ESG factors into account if they believe they’re financially significant

January 2017 EU-wide IORP II Directive requires pension schemes to consider approach to ESG factors and risks. EU states have until January 2019 to implement. (IORP stands for “institutions for occupational retirement provision”.)


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