We’ve turned TCFD reporting into a free tool that’s proven to help members love their pension
Pensions are an enigma to many people who pay into one. A sliver of their pay gets syphoned into a wormhole to rematerialise in a theoretical future. What happens in between is often hidden in reams and data and inscrutable graphs.
Quietroom has long argued that showing members how their pensions are tackling climate change will make them easier to love. We contributed to a report by the Defined Contribution Investment Forum, ‘The key to unlocking member engagement’, and now we’ve a free resource that turns an obligatory Task Force on Climate Related Disclosures (TCFD) report into a snappy summary that helps members engage with their pension.
Teasing out TCFD titbits
Showing members how their pension can tackle climate change is a proven way to help them engage with their money. However, a pension scheme’s eco credentials are often concealed in a dense 70-page TCFD report designed to be read by regulators. Teasing out the key information can help bring pensions to life for members, so we created a member-friendly TCFD summary that any scheme can use.
Try the interactive example on our ready-made comms page
We also road-tested it with members of a pension scheme to ensure its messages hit home. Members’ feedback sparked some powerful insights about what they thought of climate and nature, and how to talk to them about it.
Members understand climate change, but not the connection to pensions
Caroline Hopper, Lead Consultant at Quietroom and co-creator of the TCFD member summary, said: “Members we spoke to were clued up on climate change – they actually asked us not to explain it to them. But they’d never made the connection between their pension and climate. So showing examples of how climate change could affect their investments was very powerful, especially an example about how flooding could damage a shopping centre they invest in.
“It also allowed us to show why reducing investment emissions is good for their pension pot as well as the planet.”
TCFD report makes pensions ‘exciting and real’
Almost all members said the most interesting information was the examples of what their money was investing in. One member said: “They make it exciting and real. It makes me more motivated – and gives me confidence to trust what this provider is saying.”
Perhaps surprisingly, targets and metrics were also important to members, with members valuing the 2050 goal and interim targets. One member said: “The aim of reaching net zero is ambitious and bold. It shows this provider is thinking long term, which is a good thing.”
The worst thing schemes can say is nothing at all. If members hear from one scheme about climate plans and not another, they assume the latter doesn’t have any. Another member said:
“Now I want information from my own pension scheme on how they’re tackling climate change.”
Caroline said: “We often hear that schemes don’t want to talk to members about this for fear of knee-jerk reactions, especially if emissions metrics go up in the short term. But members appreciate the necessary long-term thinking on climate.”
The tried-and-tested wording on Quietroom’s TCFD member summary is free for any scheme to use. All a scheme has to do is register and drop their own TCFD data into the summary. It’s a simple way to show members how their pensions are forces of nature.