Pensions Bill

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New Clause 13

Applications and notifications where closed schemes have insufficient assets

No. NC13, to move the following Clause:—

    '(1) If at any time the trustees or managers of a closed scheme become aware that the value of the assets of the scheme is less than the amount of the protected liabilities in relation to the scheme, they must, before the end of the prescribed period beginning with that time, make an application to the Board for it to assume responsibility for the scheme.

    (2) Where the Board receives an application under subsection (1), it must give a copy of the application to the Regulator.

    (3) If at any time the Regulator becomes aware that the value of the assets of the scheme is less than the amount of the protected liabilities in relation to the scheme, it must give the Board a notice to that effect.

    (4) Where the Board receives a notice under subsection (3), it must give the trustees or managers of the scheme a notice to that effect.

    (5) The duty imposed by subsection (1) does not apply where the trustees or managers of an eligible scheme become aware as mentioned in that subsection by reason of a notice given to them under subsection (4).

    (6) The duty imposed by subsection (3) does not apply where the Regulator becomes aware as mentioned in that subsection by reason of a copy of an application made by the trustees or managers of the eligible scheme being given to it under subsection (2).

    (7) Regulations may require notices and applications under this section to be in the prescribed form and contain the prescribed information.

    (8) If the trustees or managers of an eligible scheme fail to comply with subsection (1), section 10 of the Pensions Act 1995 (civil penalties) applies to any trustee or manager who has failed to take all reasonable steps to secure compliance.

    (9) In this section closed scheme has the same meaning as in section [treatment of closed schemes required to wind up].'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

<<737>>New Clause 14

Duty to assume responsibility for closed schemes

No. NC14, to move the following Clause:—

    '(1) Where the trustees or managers of a closed scheme—

    (a) make an application under subsection (1) of section [applications and notifications where closed schemes have insufficient assets], or

    (b) receive a notice from the Board under subsection (4) of that section,

    the Board must assume responsibility for the scheme in accordance with this Chapter if the value of the assets of the scheme at the relevant time was less than the amount of the protected liabilities at that time.

    (2) In subsection (1) the reference to the assets of the scheme is a reference to those assets excluding any assets representing the value of any rights in respect of money purchase benefits under the scheme.

    (3) For the purposes of determining whether the condition in subsection (1) is satisfied, the Board must, as soon as reasonably practicable, obtain an actuarial valuation (within the meaning of section 112(3)) of the scheme as at the relevant time.

    (4) Subject to subsection (6), the following provisions apply in relation to a valuation obtained under subsection (3) as they apply in relation to a valuation obtained under section 112—

    (a) subsections (4) to (6) and (8) of that section;

    (b) section 113 (approval of valuation), other than subsection (2)(b) (iii) (duty to give copy of approved valuation to employer's insolvency practitioner);

    (c) section 114 (binding valuations), other than subsection (3)(b) (duty to give copy of binding valuation to employer's insolvency practitioner).

    (5) In the application of section 114 by virtue of subsection (4), subsection (2) of that section applies as if the reference to section 100(2)(a) included a reference to subsection (1) of this section.

    (6) In this section—

    ''closed scheme'' has the same meaning as in section [treatment of closed schemes required to wind up];

    ''the relevant time'' means the time immediately before the application mentioned in subsection (1)(a) was made, or (as the case may be) the notice mentioned in subsection (1)(b) was received, by the trustees or managers of the scheme.'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 15

Closed schemes: further assessment periods

No. NC15, to move the following Clause:—

    '(1) This section applies where—

    (a) an application is made under subsection (1) of section [applications and notifications where closed schemes have insufficient assets] in relation to a closed scheme, or

    (b) the trustees or managers of the scheme receive a notice under subsection (4) of that section.

    (2) An assessment period —

    (a) begins when the application is made or the notice is received by the trustees or managers of the scheme, and

    (b) ends when—

    (i) the trustees or managers receive a transfer notice under section 122, or

    (ii) the conditions in section 119(5) (closed scheme with sufficient assets to meet protected liabilities etc) are satisfied in relation to the scheme,

    whichever first occurs.

Column Number: 738

    (3) In this section ''closed scheme'' has the same meaning as in section [treatment of closed schemes required to wind up].'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 16

Meaning of ''reviewable matters''

No. NC16, to move the following Clause:—

    '(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, ''reviewable matter'' means a matter mentioned in Schedule [Reviewable matters].

    (2) Regulations may provide, in relation to any reference in that Schedule to a failure by the Board to do any act or make any determination, that the reference is to be construed as a reference to a failure by the Board to do the act or make the determination within a prescribed period.

    (3) Regulations may amend that Schedule by—

    (a) adding to it any other description of determination, act or failure of, or matter determined or for determination by, the Board, or

    (b) removing from it any such determination, act, failure or matter for the time being mentioned in it.'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 21

Deputy PPF Ombudsmen

    '(1) The Secretary of State may appoint one or more persons to act as a deputy to the PPF Ombudsman (''a Deputy PPF Ombudsman'').

    (2) Any such appointment is to be on such terms and conditions as the Secretary of State determines.

    (3) A Deputy PPF Ombudsman—

    (a) is to hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms and conditions of his appointment, and

    (b) may resign or be removed from office in accordance with those terms and conditions.

    (4) A Deputy PPF Ombudsman may perform the functions of the PPF Ombudsman—

    (a) during any vacancy in that office,

    (b) at any time when the PPF Ombudsman is for any reason unable to discharge his functions, or

    (c) at any other time, with the consent of the Secretary of State.

    (5) References to the PPF Ombudsman in relation to the performance of his functions are accordingly to be construed as including references to a Deputy PPF Ombudsman in relation to the performance of those functions.

    (6) An order by the Secretary of State under section 170(6) may make provision—

    (a) about the payment, or provision for payment, of remuneration, compensation for loss of office, pension, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of a Deputy PPF Ombudsman;

    (b) about the reimbursement of any expenses incurred by a Deputy PPF Ombudsman in the performance of any of the PPF Ombudsman's functions.'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

<<739>>New Clause 22

Publishing reports etc

    '(1) If the PPF Ombudsman considers it appropriate to do so in any particular case, he may publish in such form and manner as he considers appropriate a report of any investigation carried out by virtue of regulations under section 173 or 174 and of the result of that investigation.

    (2) For the purposes of the law of defamation, the publication of any matter by the PPF Ombudsman under or by virtue of any provision of this Chapter shall be absolutely privileged.'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 23

The Pensions Ombudsman and Deputy Pensions Ombudsmen

    '(1) In subsection (2) of section 145 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (c. 48) (the Pensions Ombudsman) after ''hold'' insert ''and vacate''.

    (2) For subsection (3) of that section substitute—

    ''(3) The Pensions Ombudsman may resign or be removed from office in accordance with those terms and conditions.''.

    (3) After that section insert—

    ''145A Deputy Pensions Ombudsmen

    (1) The Secretary of State may appoint one or more persons to act as a deputy to the Pensions Ombudsman (''a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman'').

    (2) Any such appointment is to be upon such terms and conditions as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

    (3) A Deputy Pensions Ombudsman—

    (a) is to hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms and conditions of his appointment, and

    (b) may resign or be removed from office in accordance with those terms and conditions.

    (4) A Deputy Pensions Ombudsman may perform the functions of the Pensions Ombudsman—

    (a) during any vacancy in that office,

    (b) at any time when the Pensions Ombudsman is for any reason unable to discharge his functions, or

    (c) at any other time, with the consent of the Secretary of State.

    (5) References to the Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the performance of his functions are accordingly to be construed as including references to a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the performance of those functions.

    (6) The Secretary of State may—

    (a) pay to or in respect of a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman such amounts—

    (i) by way of remuneration, compensation for loss of office, pension, allowances and gratuities, or

    (ii) by way of provision for any such benefits,

    as the Secretary of State may determine, and

    (b) reimburse the Pensions Ombudsman in respect of any expenses incurred by a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman in the performance of any of the Pensions Ombudsman's functions.''

    (4) In Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 24) (other disqualifying offices), after ''Pensions Ombudsman'' insert ''and any deputy to that Ombudsman appointed under section 145A of the Pension Schemes Act 1993.''.

    (5) In Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25) (other disqualifying offices), at the appropriate place insert—

Column Number: 740

    ''Pensions Ombudsman and any deputy to that Ombudsman appointed under section 145A of the Pension Schemes Act 1993''.'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

 
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Prepared 27 April 2004