BP Pensioner Group members who are BP shareholders are submitting questions for BP to answer at the BP Annual General Meeting on 25 April 2024.

These questions include:

  1. The BP Annual Report and Accounts includes all of the UK Pension Fund surplus as an asset of the Company. The BP Pensioner Group wrote to BP’s auditor Deloitte last year challenging the basis on which BP was able to make this claim in the 2022 Accounts, referencing the Fund Trust Deed Clause 16.6 ‘Surplus Assets’, which states that any surplus on windup must first be used by the Trustee to “increase or provide additional benefits” to members and “Any assets then remaining with be paid…to the employer.” It has since been drawn to our attention that accounting standard IAS19: IFRIC14 applies i.e. “Where the company has an unconditional right to a refund of surplus this can be recognised in full…but…Where the Company does not have an unconditional right to a future refund the surplus must be restricted to nil.” So why is bp recording the full surplus on its balance sheet?
  2. How would the decision to grant or withhold a discretionary pension increase impact the metrics used to determine executive bonuses?
  3. What would be the impact of a discretionary increase on BP’s tax obligations – both the accounting and cash flow impact?
  4. Are executive share awards adjusted for share buy backs? If not, does this explain why the executives are keen to do share buy backs rather than honour promises made to former employees and avoid
    discretionary pension increases?
  5. The recently published report by the Parliament Select Committee Report on UK Defined Benefit Pensions calls on the Government and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to consider ways of “ensuring the reasonable expectations of scheme members for benefit enhancement are met where there has been a history of discretionary increases.” Why is BP’s position on discretionary pension increases at odds with the Select Committee?
  6. The Select Committee also noted in respect to the governance of DB schemes that: “The Pensions Regulator and Ministers confirmed their view that the interests of scheme members should remain paramount, and decisions should be made by trustees in line with their fiduciaryduties.” Does BP disagree with the Select Committee on this, and will BP now use the massive pension surplus on the UK DB scheme to restore Pensions in line with promises made to former-employees?
  7. I have seen that BP has lost a legal case in the USA after a complaint was filed by American pensioners. Why was this not reflected in the Contingent Liabilities in the Annual Report and Accounts?
  8. BP UK Pensioners were told at an Information Session that bp has no intention of contracting with an insurer or otherwise to buy-out the UK DB Pension Scheme. Can the company confirm this is correct?
  9. A key feature of the AGM is for shareholders and members of the Board to hear concerns and questions from other shareholders. Will BP please publish on its website all questions logged with the company prior to 18th April 2024 and the answers given by the company?

BP shareholders who posed pension related questions are awaiting a full and substantive response from the BP Board.