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Pension Schemes Act 2021

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12(1)The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/3213 (N.I. 22)) is amended as follows.N.I.

(2)After Article 41 insert—

Climate change riskN.I.

41A(1)Regulations may impose requirements on the trustees or managers of an occupational pension scheme of a prescribed description with a view to securing that there is effective governance of the scheme with respect to the effects of climate change.

(2)The effects of climate change in relation to which provision may be made under paragraph (1) include, in particular—

(a)risks arising from steps taken because of climate change (whether by governments or otherwise), and

(b)opportunities relating to climate change.

(3)The requirements which may be imposed by the regulations include, in particular, requirements about—

(a)reviewing the exposure of the scheme to risks of a prescribed description;

(b)assessing the assets of the scheme in a prescribed manner;

(c)determining, reviewing and (if necessary) revising a strategy for managing the scheme's exposure to risks of a prescribed description;

(d)determining, reviewing and (if necessary) revising targets relating to the scheme's exposure to risks of a prescribed description;

(e)measuring performance against such targets;

(f)preparing documents containing information of a prescribed description.

(4)Regulations under paragraph (3)(b) may, in particular, require—

(a)that assets are assessed by reference to their exposure to risks of a prescribed description, and

(b)that an assessment includes determining the contribution of the assets of the scheme to climate change.

(5)The regulations may require the trustees or managers of the scheme to take into account—

(a)different ways in which the climate might change, and

(b)different steps that might be taken because of climate change.

(6)Regulations under paragraph (5) may require the trustees or managers of the scheme to adopt prescribed assumptions as to future events, including assumptions about—

(a)the steps that might be taken for the purpose of achieving the Paris Agreement goal or other climate change goal, or

(b)the achievement of the Paris Agreement goal or other climate change goal.

(7)In complying with requirements imposed by the regulations, a trustee or manager must have regard to guidance prepared from time to time by the Department.

(8)In this Article “the Paris Agreement goal” means the goal of holding the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels referred to in Article 2(1)(a) of the agreement done at Paris on 12 December 2015.

Climate change risk: publication of informationN.I.

41B(1)Regulations may require the trustees or managers of an occupational pension scheme of a prescribed description to publish information of a prescribed description relating to the effects of climate change on the scheme (which may include information about matters to which regulations under Article 41A may relate).

(2)Regulations under paragraph (1) may, among other things—

(a)require the trustees or managers to publish a document of a prescribed description;

(b)require information or a document to be made available free of charge;

(c)require information or a document to be provided in a form that is or by means that are prescribed or of a prescribed description.

(3)In complying with requirements imposed by the regulations, a trustee or manager must have regard to guidance prepared from time to time by the Department.

Articles 41A and 41B: complianceN.I.

41C(1)Regulations may make provision with a view to ensuring compliance with a provision of regulations under Article 41A or 41B.

(2)The regulations may in particular—

(a)provide for the Authority to issue a notice (a “compliance notice”) to a person with a view to ensuring the person's compliance with a provision of regulations under Article 41A or 41B;

(b)provide for the Authority to issue a notice (a “third party compliance notice”) to a person with a view to ensuring another person's compliance with a provision of regulations under Article 41A or 41B;

(c)provide for the Authority to issue a notice (a “penalty notice”) imposing a penalty on a person where the Authority are of the opinion that the person—

(i)has failed to comply with a compliance notice or third party compliance notice, or

(ii)has contravened a provision of regulations under Article 41A or 41B;

(d)provide for the making of a reference to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal in respect of the issue of a penalty notice or the amount of a penalty;

(e)confer other functions on the Authority.

(3)The regulations may make provision for determining the amount, or the maximum amount, of a penalty in respect of a failure or contravention.

(4)But the amount of a penalty imposed under the regulations in respect of a failure or contravention must not exceed—

(a)£5,000, in the case of an individual, and

(b)£50,000, in any other case.

(5)In this Article “First-tier Tribunal” and “Upper Tribunal” mean those tribunals established under section 3 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

(3)In Article 113 (breach of regulations), in paragraph (3)(b), after “10” insert “ or under provision contained in regulations made by virtue of Article 41C ”.

(4)In Article 167 (Assembly, etc. control of orders and regulations), after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A)Paragraph (2) also applies in relation to the first regulations made by virtue of Article 41A or 41C (whether made alone or with other regulations).

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