Amendments proposed to the Pensions Bill - continued House of Commons

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Exercise of Regulator's functions

   

Mr David Willetts
Mr Nigel Waterson
Mr George Osborne
Mr Peter Atkinson
Gregory Barker
Mr David Ruffley

NC4

To move the following Clause:—

       'In the exercise of its functions under this Act, the Regulator shall have regard to—

      (a) the need to use its resources efficiently and effectively,

      (b) the principle that any burden or restriction imposed should be proportionate to the benefits thereof, and

      (c) the need to be open and transparent at all times, and to consult those with an interest when developing policies, procedures and practices.'.


Annual increase in rate of certain personal pensions

   

Mr David Willetts
Mr Nigel Waterson
Mr George Osborne
Mr Peter Atkinson
Gregory Barker
Mr David Ruffley

NC7

To move the following Clause:—

       'Sections 162 and 163 of the Pensions Act 1995 (c26) (annual increase in rate of certain personal pensions) shall cease to have effect.'.


Restriction on employers' powers to alter schemes for future service

   

Kevin Brennan

NC8

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   After section 67 of the Pensions Act 1995 there shall be inserted—

          "67A   Restriction on employers' powers to alter schemes for future service

          (1)   This section applies to any measure which an employer envisages that he may take whereby a pension scheme in which the employer participates—

          (a) will be closed to admission of new members;

          (b) will be modified by any person so that the rights or interests of any member will be adversely affected for future service;

          (c) will be modified so that the contributions which members are obliged to pay as a condition of membership will be increased; or

          (d) (in the case of a pension scheme which is not a salary-related pension scheme) will be modified so that the employer's obligation to contribute to the scheme will be reduced.

          (2)   Where this section applies, the employer shall meet the notice and consultation requirements specified in subsections (3) to (9) below before any such measure has effect.

          (3)   The notice requirements are that notice of any measure envisaged shall be given by the employer, in the manner specified in sub-section (4), to—

          (a) his employees (whether or not they are members of the scheme);

          (b) the trustees and administrator of the scheme; and

          (c) any recognised union.

          (4)   Notices given under subsection (3) shall be in writing and shall—

          (a) specify the measures which are envisaged, and, if the measures will not relate to all employees, the categories or descriptions of the employees to be so affected;

          (b) in the case of measures having the effect described in sub-section (1) above shall specify the categories or descriptions of the employees or future employees to be affected;

          (c) specify the date from which it is anticipated that those measures will have effect; and

          (d) specify the name and business address of the person to whom representations may be made with respect to the matters included in the notice.

          (5)   A notice under this section shall be given—

          (a) to any employee by—

          (i) sending or delivering it to him, or

          (ii) exhibiting it conspicuously at the place of work or employment so that it may be read conveniently by him and by drawing his attention to it in writing;

          (b) to any other person, by sending or delivering it to that person.

          (6)   Unless there are special circumstances which render it not reasonably practicable, a notice under this section must specify a date of expiry which is not earlier than the date three months after the date on which the notice is given.

          (7)   The consultation requirements are that unless there are special circumstances which render it not reasonably practicable the employer shall consult any recognised trade unions with a view to seeking their agreement to the measures to be taken.

          (8)   In the course of those consultations the employer shall—

          (a) consider any representations made by the recognised trade unions; and

          (b) reply to those representations and, if he rejects any of those representations, state his reasons.

          (9)   If in any case there are special circumstances which render it not reasonably practicable for an employer to perform a duty imposed on him by any of subsections (3) to (8) he shall take all such steps towards performing that duty as are reasonably practicable in the circumstances.

          (10)   In this section—

          (a) an effect upon any right or interest shall be taken to be adverse unless the actuary certifies that it is not;

          (b) a recognised trade union is an independent trade union recognised to any extent for the purpose of collective bargaining in relation to the employees concerned.

          67B   Failure to give notice or consult

          (1)   Where an employer has failed to comply with a requirement of section 67A, a complaint may be presented to an employment tribunal on that ground—

          (a) in the case of failure relating to representatives of a trade union, by the trade union,

          (b) in any other case, by any of his employees who are affected employees.

          (2)   If on a complaint under subsection (1) above a question arises whether or not it was reasonably practicable for an employer to perform a particular duty or what steps he took towards performing it, it shall be for him to show—

          (a) that there were special circumstances which rendered it not reasonably practicable for him to perform the duty; and

          (b) that he took all such steps towards its performances as were reasonably practicable in those circumstances.

          (3)   Where the tribunal finds a complaint under paragraph (1) above well-founded it shall make a declaration to that effect and may order the employer to pay appropriate compensation to such descriptions of affected employees as may be specified in the award;

          (4)   An appeal shall lie and shall lie only to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on a question of law arising from any decision of, or arising in any proceedings before, an employment tribunal under or by virtue of those Regulations; and section 13(1) of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1971 (appeal from certain tribunals to the High Court) shall not apply in relation to any such proceedings.

          (5)   In this section—

          (a) 'appropriate compensation means such sum not exceeding thirteen weeks' pay for the employee in question as the tribunal considers just and equitable having regard to the seriousness of the failure of the employer to comply with his duty.

          (b) 'affected employee' means an employee who is a member of the scheme or who would be eligible to become a member if a measure within the meaning of section 67A(1)(a) had not taken effect.

          (6)   Chapter II of the Employment Rights Act 1996 shall apply for calculating the amount of a week's pay for any employee for the purposes of subsection (11) above.".'.


NEW SCHEDULE

   

Malcolm Wicks

NS1

*To move the following Schedule:—

'Reviewable matters

     Whether an occupational pension scheme is an eligible scheme.

     The issue of, or failure to issue, a notice under section 97(2) (Board's duty where insolvency practitioner fails to give a notice under section 96).

     The issue of, or failure to issue—

            (a)   a notice under subsection (2) of section 102 (scheme rescue not possible), or

            (b)   a withdrawal notice under subsection (3) of that section (scheme rescue has occurred).

     Any direction given under subsection (2) of section 106 (directions during an assessment period) or any variation or revocation of such a direction under subsection (4) of that section.

     The issue of a notice under section 108(2) (power to validate contraventions of section 107).

     The making of a loan under section 111(2) (loans to pay scheme benefits), the amount of any such loan or the failure to make such a loan.

     The approval of, or failure to approve, a valuation in respect of an eligible scheme under section 113(2).

     The issue of, or failure to issue, a withdrawal notice under or by virtue of—

            (a)   section 115 (schemes which become eligible schemes), or

            (b)   section 116 (new schemes created to replace existing schemes).

     The issue of, or failure to issue, a withdrawal notice under section 117(5)(a) (no insolvency event has occurred or is likely to occur).

    10  The issue of, or failure to issue, a determination notice under section [schemes required to wind up but unable to buy out liabilities](6) (authorisation to continue as closed scheme).

    11  Any direction given under section 119(7) (directions about winding up of scheme with sufficient assets to meet protected liabilities) and any variation or revocation of such a direction.

    12  The issue of, or failure to issue, a determination notice under section 121(2A) (whether value of scheme assets less than aggregate of protected liabilities etc).

    13  The failure by the Board to give a transfer notice under section 122.

    14  Any determination by the Board of a person's entitlement to compensation under the pension compensation provisions or the failure in any case to make such a determination.

    15  Any failure by the Board to make a payment required by section 125(3)(b) (adjustments to be made where Board assumes responsibility for a scheme).

    16  The amount of the initial levy or any pension protection levy payable in respect of an eligible scheme determined by the Board under section 143(3)(b).

    17  The making of a fraud compensation payment under section 144(1), the amount of any such payment or the failure to make such a payment.

    18  The issue of, or failure to issue, a notice under section 145(2) (scheme rescue not possible or having occurred in case of scheme which is not eligible or not subject to insolvency events).

    19  Any settlement date determined by the Board under section 146(2) (recovery of value) or the failure to determine a settlement date under that provision.

    20  Any determination by the Board under section 146(4) (recovery of value: whether amount received in respect of particular act or omission) or the failure to make such a determination.

    21  The making of a payment under section 148(1) (interim payments), the amount of any such payment or the failure to make such a payment.

    22  Any term or condition imposed by the Board—

            (a)   under section 147(2) on the making of a fraud compensation payment; or

            (b)   under subsection (4) of section 148 (interim payments) on the making of a payment under subsection (1) of that section.

    23  Any determination by the Board under section 148(3)(b) (interim payments) that the amount of a payment was excessive.

    24  Any date determined by the Board under section 149(4) (earliest date for making a fraud compensation transfer payment).

    25  Any determination by the Board under section 149(6) (fraud compensation transfer payments: whether payment is received in respect of particular act or omission).'.


ORDER OF THE HOUSE [2nd MARCH 2004]

That the following provisions shall apply to the Pensions Bill:

Committal

    1.   The Bill shall be committed to a Standing Committee.

Standing Committee

    2.   Proceedings in the Standing Committee shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion on 22nd April 2004.

    3.   The Standing Committee shall have leave to sit twice on the first day on which it meets.

Consideration and Third Reading

    4.   Proceedings on consideration shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour before the moment of interruption on the day on which those proceedings are commenced.

    5.   Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on the day on which proceedings on consideration are commenced.

    6.   Sessional Order B (programming committees) made on 28th June 2001 shall not apply to proceedings on consideration and Third Reading.

Other proceedings

    7.   Any other proceedings on the Bill (including any proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments or on any further message from the Lords) may be programmed.


ORDER OF THE COMMITTEE [9th AND 16th MARCH 2004]

That—     (1)   during proceedings on the Pensions Bill the Standing Committee shall, in addition to its first meeting on Tuesday 9th March at 9.30 a.m., meet—

      (a) on that day at 2.30 p.m., and

      (b) thereafter when the House is sitting on Tuesdays at 9.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. and on Thursdays at 9.30 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.

    (2)   the proceedings to be taken at the sittings shall be as shown in the second column of the Table below and shall be taken in the order so shown;

    (3)   the proceedings which under paragraph (2) are to be taken on any sitting shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the time specified in the third column of the Table;

    (4)   paragraph (2) shall not prevent proceedings being taken (in the order shown in the second column of the Table) at any earlier sitting than that provided for under paragraph (2) if previous proceedings have already been concluded.

'TABLE

SittingProceedingsTime for conclusion of proceedings
9th March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 1 to 3, Schedule 1, Clauses 4 to 11, Schedule 2, Clauses 12 to 60, Schedule 3, Clauses 61 to 76, Schedule 4 and Clauses 77 to 80.
9th March (2.30 p.m.)Clauses 1 to 3, Schedule 1, Clauses 4 to 11, Schedule 2, Clauses 12 to 60, Schedule 3, Clauses 61 to 76, Schedule 4 and Clauses 77 to 80 (so far as not previously concluded).
11th March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 1 to 3, Schedule 1, Clauses 4 to 11, Schedule 2, Clauses 12 to 60, Schedule 3, Clauses 61 to 76, Schedule 4 and Clauses 77 to 80 (so far as not previously concluded).
11th March (2.00 p.m.)Clauses 1 to 3, Schedule 1, Clauses 4 to 11, Schedule 2, Clauses 12 to 60, Schedule 3, Clauses 61 to 76, Schedule 4 and Clauses 77 to 80 (so far as not previously concluded).
16th March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 1 to 3, Schedule 1, Clauses 4 to 11, Schedule 2, Clauses 12 to 60, Schedule 3, Clauses 61 to 76, Schedule 4 and Clauses 77 to 80 (so far as not previously concluded).11.25 a.m.
16th March (2.30 p.m.)Clauses 220 and 221, Schedule 10, Clauses 222 and 223, Clauses 191 to 193, Schedule 9 and Clauses 194 and 195, New Clauses relating to Part 6 of the Bill.
18th March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 220 and 221, Schedule 10, Clauses 222 and 223, Clauses 191 to 193, Schedule 9 and Clauses 194 and 195, New Clauses relating to Part 6 of the Bill (so far as not previously concluded).11.25 a.m.
18th March (2.00 p.m.)Clauses 196 to 219 and Clauses 178 to 190.
23rd March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 196 to 219 and Clauses 178 to 190 (so far as not previously concluded).
23rd March (2.30 p.m.)Clauses 196 to 219 and Clauses 178 to 190 (so far as not previously concluded).8.00 p.m.
25th March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177.
25th March (2.00 p.m.)Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).
30th March (9.30 a.m.)Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).
30th March (2.30 p.m.)Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).
1st April
(9.30 a.m.)
Clause 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).
1st April
(2.00 p.m.)
Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).
20th April
(9.30 a.m.)
Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).
20th April
(2.30 p.m.)
Clauses 81 to 83, Schedule 5, Clauses 84 to 123, Schedule 6, Clause 124, Schedule 7, Clauses 125 to 162, Schedule 8 and Clauses 163 to 177 (so far as not previously concluded).8.00 p.m.
22nd April
(9.30 a.m.)
Clauses 224 to 242, Schedule 11, Clause 243, Schedule 12, Clauses 244 to 248.11.25 a.m.
22nd April
(2.00 p.m.)
Remaining New Clauses, New
Schedules and remaining
proceedings on the Bill.
5.00 p.m.'


 
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