Pension Schemes Bill [HL]

Explanatory Notes

Legal background

36 The following notes give a brief overview of significant existing legislation that is referenced by this Bill. Further explanation, if required, is given in the clause-by-clause commentary.

37 The Pension Schemes Act 1993 is a consolidation Act that sets out various provisions in relation to classification of pension schemes, contracting out, early leavers (including preservation, revaluation and the right to take a transfer), the Pensions Ombudsman and other miscellaneous requirements.

38 The Pensions Act 1995 contains provisions relating to the Pensions Regulator, as well as provisions relating to the role and responsibilities of trustees, professionals and employers. It also provides requirements in respect of scheme administration, indexation of pensions in payment, protection against detrimental modifications, employer debt and winding up.

39 The Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 makes provision for pension sharing on divorce and controlling charges in relation to stakeholder pension schemes, as defined in section 1 of that Act.

40 The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 makes provision for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and for a regulatory framework for financial services and markets. Amongst other things, the Authority is responsible for authorising and regulating the operation of contract-based personal pension schemes and certain stakeholder pension schemes.

41 The Pensions Act 2004 makes provision with regard to the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund. It also makes provision in relation to scheme funding, and contains other miscellaneous provisions applying to pension schemes including internal controls, pension protection where there is a TUPE transfer and employer consultation requirements.

42 The Pensions Act 2008 makes provision for automatic enrolment, under which employers are required to enrol qualifying employees into a suitable pension scheme and to make pension contributions on their behalf.

43 The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 makes provision for the reform of public sector pensions.

44 The Pensions Act 2014 makes provision for restricting charges and imposing requirements in relation to pension schemes.

45 The Pension Schemes Act 2015 makes provision allowing members to access their pension savings flexibly on retirement. It also makes provision in relation to defined ambition schemes and collective benefits.

46 The Pension Schemes Act 2017 makes provision for an authorisation and supervision regime for Master Trusts.

47 The Money and Pensions Service was established by the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018. Its objectives include improving the ability of people to make informed financial decisions. One of its functions is to provide free and impartial information and guidance relating to occupational and personal pensions.

48 Northern Ireland has separate but corresponding legislation to the Acts listed in paragraphs 37 to 39 and 41 to 44 and to provisions of the Act cited in paragraph 45.


7th January 2020