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.".'.


Home reversion plans

   

Steve Webb
Paul Holmes

NC17

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Where information is provided under section 191(2)(b), subsections (2) and (3) apply.

    (2)   Selling or arranging a home reversion plan, for the purpose of providing an income or lump sum in retirement, is a regulated activity under section 22 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

    (3)   A home reversion plan is a sale and leaseback arrangement under which an individual sells all or part of his residential accommodation (at least 40 per cent. of which is occupied by the customer and his family) to another party, with the aim of providing an income or lump sum in retirement and under which he is permitted to continue living in the property.'.


Report on National Insurance system for self-employed people

   

Steve Webb
Paul Holmes

NC18

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Secretary of State shall require the Government Actuary—

      (a) to report to him, within six months of the coming into force of this Act, on the operation of the National Insurance system for self-employed people, and

      (b) to recommend a rate of National Insurance Contributions which would enable self-employed people to qualify for additional pension.'.


Home responsibilities protection for pensioners

   

Steve Webb
Paul Holmes

NC19

To move the following Clause:—

       'In section 44A(2)(c)(i) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (c. 4), omit "six" and insert "twelve".'.


Class 3 contributions

   

Steve Webb
Paul Holmes

NC20

To move the following Clause:—

       'In section 13 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (c. 4), after subsection (1) insert—

      "(1A) The prescribed conditions referred to in subsection (1) above shall not include any limits on the period between the payment year and the contribution year.".'.


Amendment of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988

   

Mr David Willetts
Mr Nigel Waterson
Mr George Osborne
Mr Peter Atkinson
Gregory Barker
Andrew Rosindell

NC27

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 is amended as follows.

    (2)   In subsection (1) of section 630 (interpretation)—

      (a) in the definition of "personal pension scheme", substitute for the words "or lump sums" the words ", lump sums, or withdrawals from a Retirement Income Fund"; and

      (b) in the definition of "income withdrawal", insert after the word "annuity" the words "or withdrawal of funds from a Retirement Income Fund".

    (3)   In section 633 (scope of benefits) after subsection (1)(e) there is inserted—

      "(f) the payment to a member of income from a Retirement Income Fund satisfying the conditions in section 637B".

    (4)   In section 634 (annuity to member)—

      (a) after subsection (1), there is inserted—

      "(1A) Subject to subsection (7) below, the annuity must provide the member with an annual income not less than the Minimum Retirement Income set under section [Minimum Retirement Income] of the Pensions Act 2004.";

      (b) in subsection (2) the words from "commence" to the end are replaced by the following—

      "(a) before the member attains the age of 50; or

      (b) in relation to a member who is in receipt of benefits under section 634A before the date of this Act's entry into force, after the member attains the age of 75; or

      (c) in relation to any member aged 65 or over as at the date of this Act's entry into force, within 12 months of that date; or

      (d) in relation to all other members, after the member attains the age of 65.".

      (c) after subsection (6) there is inserted—

      "(7) Section 45 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 shall not apply to the annuity provided under subsection (1A).

      (8) The income provided each year from the annuity under section (1A) must increase by reference to increases in the retail price index, so far as not exceeding 5 per cent.".

    (5)   Sections 634A and 636A are repealed.

    (6)   Subsection (5) shall not apply to schemes executed before the date of entry into effect of this Act.

    (7)   After section 637A (Return of contributions on death of a member), the following section is inserted—

          "637BRetirement Income Fund    (1)   Subject to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a Retirement Income Fund is a vehicle for the reinvestment of savings in retirement, which

          (a) has been established by a person designated by subsection (1) of section 632; and

          (b) is a vehicle whose investments are—

          (i) investments of a kind described in the Insurance Companies Regulations 1994, Schedule X, Part 1; or

          (ii) approvied by the Inland Revenue.

          (2)   Funds held in a Retirement Income Fund as referred to in subsection (1) may be withdrawn from the Retirement Income Fund by a member as and when he elects.

          (3)   A member may not invest in a Retirement Income Fund unless the requirements of subsection (1A) of section 634, in relation to the Minimum Retirement Income, are satisfied.

          (4)   A Retirement Income Fund, and any income derived from it, must not be capable of assignment or surrender by the member.

          (5)   Any withdrawal from the Fund by the member under subsection (2) shall be assessable to tax under Schedule E (and section 203 shall apply accordingly) and shall be treated as earned income of the member.".'.



 
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