Jurisdiction of the Pensions Ombudsman
Mr Secretary Darling
To move the following Clause:
'.(1) Section 146 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (functions of the Pensions Ombudsman) shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1), after paragraph (b) there shall be inserted
(3) In that subsection, for the words after sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (d) there shall be substituted
"(ba) a complaint made to him by or on behalf of an independent trustee of a trust scheme who, in connection with any act or omission which is an act or omission either
(i) of trustees of the scheme who are not independent trustees, or
(ii) of former trustees of the scheme who were not independent trustees,
alleges maladministration of the scheme,".
(4) After that subsection there shall be inserted
"and in a case falling within sub-paragraph (ii) references in this Part to the scheme to which the reference relates are references to each of the schemes,
(e) any dispute not falling within paragraph (f) between different trustees of the same occupational pension scheme,
(f) any dispute, in relation to a time while section 22 of the Pensions Act 1995 (schemes subject to insolvency procedures) applies in relation to an occupational pension scheme, between an independent trustee of the scheme and either
(i) trustees of the scheme who are not independent trustees, or
(ii) former trustees of the scheme who were not independent trustees, and
(g) any question relating, in the case of an occupational pension scheme with a sole trustee, to the carrying out of the functions of that trustee."
(5) In subsection (3) (persons responsible for the management of the scheme to be the trustees and managers and employer), after "occupational pension scheme" there shall be inserted "or a personal pension scheme".
(6) For paragraph (a) of subsection (6) (exclusion of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction where court proceedings have been begun) there shall be substituted
(7) In subsection (7) (persons who are actual or potential beneficiaries)
"(a) if, before the making of the complaint or the reference of the dispute
(i) proceedings in respect of the matters which would be the subject of the investigation have been begun in any court or employment tribunal, and
(ii) those proceedings are proceedings which have not been discontinued or which have been discontinued on the basis of a settlement or compromise binding all the persons by or on whose behalf the complaint or reference is made;".
(a) after paragraph (b) there shall be inserted
"(ba) a person who is entitled to a pension credit as against the trustees or managers of the scheme;" and
(b) in sub-paragraph (i) of paragraph (c), for "paragraph (a) or (b)" there shall be substituted "paragraph (a), (b) or (ba)".
(8) In subsection (8) (interpretation) after the definition of "employer" there shall be inserted
(9) In subsection (1)
"'independent trustee', in relation to a scheme, means
(a) a trustee of the scheme appointed under section 23(1)(b) of the Pensions Act 1995 (appointment of independent trustee by insolvency practitioner or official receiver),
(b) a person appointed under section 7(1) of that Act to replace a trustee falling within paragraph (a) or this paragraph;".
(a) for "complaints and disputes" there shall be substituted "matters";
(b) in paragraph (b), for the words from "is to" to the end of the paragraph there shall be substituted "are references to the other scheme referred to in that sub-paragraph"; and
(c) in paragraphs (c) and (d), the words "which arises", in each place where they occur, shall be omitted.
(10) Subsection (6) does not have effect in relation to proceedings begun before the day appointed under section 79 for the coming into force of this section.'.
Transfer to Financial Services Ombudsman of functions of Pensions Ombudsman and OPRA
Mr David Willetts
Mrs Jacqui Lait
Mr Eric Pickles
Mr Edward Leigh
Mr Laurence Robertson
Miss Julie Kirkbride
To move the following Clause:
'.(1) There shall be transferred to the Financial Services Ombudsman all the functions and powers of the Pensions Ombudsman established under Part X of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (as amended by the Pensions Act 1995); and the functions and powers of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority shall be similarly transferred.
(2) The Treasury may by order
(a) provide for the transfer of any property, rights or liabilities held, enjoyed or incurred by any person in connection with functions transferred under this section;
(b) provide for the carrying on and completion by or under the authority of the Financial Services Ombudsman of any proceedings, investigations or other matters concerned, before the order takes effect, by or under the authority of the Pensions Ombudsman or Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority;
(c) make any transitional, incidental or consequential provision which is necessary, or expedient as a result of the transfer of functions under this section;
(d) provide for the substitution of the Financial Services Ombudsman for the Pensions Ombudsman or Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority in any instrument, contract or legal proceedings made or begun before the order takes effect.
(3) The Treasury may make regulations providing for
(a) the transfer to the scheme operator of any staff previously employed in the service of the Pensions Ombudsman or Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority;
(b) the terms on which any such transfer shall take place; and
(c) the terms on which the employment of any person previously employed in the service of the Pensions Ombudsman may be terminated.'.
Custodianship of investments
Mr John Butterfill
To move the following Clause:
'.(1) The trustees or managers of an occupational pension scheme or a personal pension scheme must secure that investments held for the purposes of the scheme are held in accordance with an agreement made between the trustees or managers and an appropriate authorised person ("the custodian") which contains the provisions mentioned in subsection (2).
(2) Those provisions are
(a) that the investments are held in the custodian's name and he maintains adequate records for identifying them as belonging to the scheme and not to himself or any other person,
(b) that the custodian is required to safeguard the investments,
(c) that all documents of title relating to the investments are kept in the custodian's possession and may not be delivered to any other person except
(i) to another appropriate authorised person with whom the trustee or managers have made an agreement within this section or in accordance with instructions from the scheme's fund manager, and
(ii) upon a request which is signified in the manner specified in the agreement,
(d) that all arrangements and transactions relating to the investments are conducted and recorded in the manner and within the period so specified,
(e) that adequate arrangements are made for the deposit or investment of money received by the custodian in pursuance of the agreement and for the payment by him of money required for the purposes of the scheme,
(f) that the custodian is responsible for securing that the trustees and managers are fully informed of all matters relating to the investments within a period which is reasonable having regard to the importance of the information,
(g) that, in any case where the custodian is also a person to whom any discretion to make any decision about investments has been delegated under section 38, the functions exercisable by him as custodian are adequately differentiated from those exercisable by him by virtue of that delegation,
(h) that the custodian is liable for any reduction in value in the assets of the scheme arising from any breach of his obligations under the agreement, and
(i) such other provisions as the trustees or managers consider appropriate for securing the safeguarding of the investments of the scheme.
(3) Where an agreement in relation to the investment held for the purposes of a scheme has been made with a custodian in accordance with this section
(a) except in prescribed circumstances, the custodian shall not be regarded as a trustee or manager of the scheme by virtue only of complying with such provisions of the agreement as are mentioned in subsection (2), and
(b) the trustees or managers of the scheme are not responsible for any act or default of the custodian in the course of exercising his functions as such if they have taken all reasonable steps to satisfy themselves
(i) that he is an appropriate person to appoint as custodian, and
(ii) that he performs his functions under the agreement competently.
(4) Subject to any restriction imposed by the scheme, an agreement under this section may include provision enabling the custodian to make arrangements with another person for him to exercise any of the custodian's functions under the agreement; and where the custodian makes such arrangements this section shall, except in prescribed circumstances, apply in relation to the other person as it applies to the custodian.
(5) Regulations may
(a) provide that this section does not apply, or
(b) modify it in its application,
to schemes or investments falling within a prescribed class or description.'.