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Session 2006-07
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Tuesday 6th February 2007

Public Bill Committee


      New Amendments handed in are marked thus *

      Other Amendments not tabled within the required notice period are marked thus 8

Pensions Bill


Note

The Amendments have been arranged in accordance with the Order of the Committee [23rd January].


Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

16

Schedule 6, page 59, line 13, leave out from ‘contain’ to ‘of’ in line 14 and insert ‘a majority of persons who are either members or employees’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

17

Schedule 6, page 59, line 18, leave out paragraph 10.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

14

Schedule 6, page 59, line 20, at end insert—

    ‘10A (1) The Authority must establish a committee for the purpose of representing the interests of scheme members and prospective scheme members.

    (2) The chairman of the committee must be a consumer representative appointed under paragraphs 1(1)(b) and 1(3A).’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

18

Schedule 6, page 62, line 28, at end insert—

‘18A Such grants shall be classified as—

      (a) policy grants; or

      (b) operational grants.

    18B (1) Policy grants shall be used in support of the Authority’s work on advising on preparing for the implementation of, or the modification of, any relevant proposals about personal accounts.

    (2) Policy grants shall not be made more than two years after the commencement of this Act.

18C Operational grants shall be used in support of the Authority’s work in preparing for the implementation of proposals for personal accounts.’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

19

Schedule 6, page 62, line 34, at end insert—

    ‘(2A) A statement under sub-paragraph (1)(b) must show separately the purposes to which policy grants and operational grants have been applied.

    (2B) A statement under sub-paragraph (1)(b) must show the interest charges that would have accrued on the operational grants if they had been loans taken out at commercial rates of interest.’.


Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

83

Clause 19, page 20, line 35, leave out ‘appropriate’ and insert ‘strictly necessary’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

84

Clause 19, page 21, line 2, leave out from ‘State’ to ‘which’ in line 3.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

85

Clause 19, page 21, line 5, leave out ‘pensions’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

20

Clause 19, page 21, line 11, at end insert—

      ‘(2A) It shall be the duty of the Authority to carry out their functions under subsection (1) in such manner as—

        (a) appears to them to ensure, so far as they are facilitating the implementation of any such proposals, that there is effective co-operation in relation to the implementation of the proposals between themselves, the Pensions Regulator, the Financial Services Authority and the Secretary of State; and

        (b) does not interfere with the existing provision of personal or occupational schemes.’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

40

Clause 19, page 21, line 11, at end insert—

      ‘(2A) In discharging its functions under this Part, the Authority shall publish a report on how it can ensure that individuals who have money invested in Personal Accounts and those considering doing so in future will have access to generic financial advice.’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

86

Clause 19, page 21, line 26, leave out subsection (5).

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

21

Clause 19, page 21, line 27, at end insert—

      ‘(5A) In discharging its function under this section, the Authority shall ensure that its actions and advice support the following objectives for the scheme—

        (a) ensuring that the overall outcome, taking account of the impact on the existing market, is an increase in the number of people saving and the overall amount being saved;

        (b) optimising levels of participation and contribution among the target group;

        (c) setting an investment strategy in the best interests of members;

        (d) minimising burdens on employers;

        (e) minimising the impact on other high-quality pension provision;

        (f) assuring security of administration;

        (g) governing in the best interests of members and beneficiaries;

        (h) ensuring that the board acts impartially, prudently, responsibly and honestly;

        (i) delivering appropriate levels of choice;

        (j) achieving charges that are fair and reasonable;

        (k) ensuring the funds are invested in the best interests of the members.

      (5B) Her Majesty may from time to time by Order in Council make provision for amending the objectives set out in subsection (5A).

      (5C) No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under subsection (5B) above unless a draft of the Order has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

22

Clause 19, page 21, line 27, at end insert—

      ‘(5A) In making preparations and giving advice, the Authority shall seek to ensure that the full costs of setting up and operating the scheme are covered by charges to be made either to employers or to members and not met from other sources.’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

87

Clause 19, page 21, line 29, at end insert ‘, and such guidance must be reported to Parliament by an oral statement made by the Secretary of State.’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

23

Clause 19, page 21, line 31, at end insert—

      ‘(7A) Before issuing guidance under subsection (6) the Secretary of State shall consult—

        (a) the Authority;

        (b) organisations appearing to him to be representative of consumers;

        (c) organisations appearing to him to be representative of employees;

        (d) organisations appearing to him to be representative of employers;

        (e) organisations appearing to him to be representative of the financial services industry;

        (f) such other persons as the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to consult in relation to the guidance.

      (7B) A draft of any guidance proposed to be issued under this section shall be laid before each House of Parliament.

      (7C) Guidance shall not be issued under this section until after the period of forty days beginning with—

        (a) the day on which the draft is laid before each House of Parliament; or

        (b) if the draft is laid before the House of Lords on one day and the House of Commons on another, the later of those two days.

      (7D) If, before the end of that period, either House resolves that the guidance should not be issued, the Secretary of State must not issue it.

      (7E) In reckoning any period of forty days for the purposes of subsection (5) or (6), no account shall be taken of any time during which—

        (a) Parliament is dissolved or prorogued, or

        (b) both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

      (7F) The Secretary of State shall arrange for any guidance issued under this section to published in such manner as he considers appropriate.’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

38

Clause 19, page 21, line 32, at end add—

      ‘(9) Prior to Parliament’s approval of proposals the Authority must evaluate the effect of means testing on levels of saving in personal accounts and its impact on returns in personal accounts and thereafter conduct and publish evaluations annually.’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

39

Clause 19, page 21, line 32, at end insert—

      ‘(9) The Authority shall carry out a gender impact assessment of relevant proposals regarding saving in personal accounts as specified in subsection (2).’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

65

Clause 19, page 21, line 32, at end add—

      ‘(9) The Authority shall, no later than 1st April 2008, publish a strategy for maximising participation in the new system of personal accounts in which it shall—

        (a) set out and give full explanation of targets for participation in personal accounts;

        (b) identify at-risk groups where auto-enrolment might risk very low rates or return;

        (c) outline contingency plans for coping with the workload if participation is higher than expected;

        (d) outline its strategy for maximising the participation among employees in small businesses.’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

66

Clause 19, page 21, line 32, at end add—

      ‘(9) The Authority shall prepare and publish a report, no later than 1st April 2008, on measures it proposes to take to monitor the impact of the new personal accounts scheme on existing occupational pensions provision and to guard against levelling down.’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

67

Clause 19, page 21, line 32, at end add—

      ‘(9) The Authority shall prepare and publish a report, no later than 1st April 2008, on how it plans to establish and develop any necessary IT system and reduce risks of IT problems with personal accounts.’.

Mr David Laws
Lorely Burt

68

Clause 19, page 21, line 32, at end add—

      ‘(9) The Authority shall prepare and publish a report, no later than 1st April 2008, on the percentage of the target audience of personal accounts expected to accrue returns from saving in personal account pension schemes of—

        (a) more than 100 per cent,

        (b) 0-100 per cent, and

        (c) less than 0 per cent.’.


Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

79

Clause 20, page 21, line 36, leave out ‘the Authority thinks appropriate’ and insert ‘shall be specified in regulations’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

80

Clause 20, page 21, line 38, leave out subsection (2).


James Purnell

56

Clause 24, page 23, line 25, leave out subsection (3) and insert—

      ‘(3) The following repeals have effect at the end of the period of 2 months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed—

        (a) the repeals in Part 2 of Schedule 7 of the provisions of the Pensions Act 1995 (c. 26) other than paragraphs 19 and 20 of Schedule 4 to that Act;

        (b) the repeal in Part 2 of Schedule 7 of paragraph 36 of Schedule 24 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33);

        (c) the repeals in Part 3A of Schedule 7.’.


James Purnell

60

Schedule 7, page 66, line 8, at end insert—

‘Part 3A

Additional pension: simplified accrual rates

Citation Extent of repeal
Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (c. 4) In section 39— (a) the words “and Schedule 4A” wherever occurring; (b) subsection (3).
In Schedule 4A, in paragraph 1(2) “39(1),”.
Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 (c. 19) Section 35(3).’.

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

7

Schedule 7, page 66, line 27, at end insert—

‘Section 28.’.

NEW CLAUSES

Report by Government Actuary on trends in longevity

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC1

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘(1) Beginning in April 2014, the Government Actuary shall present a Report to Parliament every five years setting out the latest evidence on trends in longevity.

      (2) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to make a motion in the House of Commons in relation to any report under subsection (1).’.


Review of pension credit entitlement

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC2

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘(1) The Secretary of State may from time to time, and shall when required by subsection (2), lay before each House of Parliament a report by the Government Actuary or the Deputy Government Actuary on—

        (a) current rates and coverage of pension credit entitlement;

        (b) likely future rates of pension credit entitlement; and

        (c) such other matters as he considers to be relevant as affecting the present and future take-up of and eligibility for pension credit.

      (2) The Secretary of State shall lay such reports—

        (a) five years after the coming into force of Part I of this Act, and

        (b) thereafter at intervals of not more than five years.’.


Review of the abolition of contracting-out for defined contribution pensions schemes

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC3

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘(1) The Secretary of State shall make a statement to Parliament in each financial year after 6th April 2010 on the use of the revenue that would previously have been assigned to contracted-out rebates for defined contribution schemes.

      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above, the statement shall cover the extent to which the revenue is assigned to promoting saving.’.


Winding up of Personal Accounts Delivery Authority

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC4

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘The Authority shall be wound up as soon as the chairman has certified that the Authority has completed the task of setting up the structure for administering personal accounts, and in any event no later than April 2012, and the criteria for such certification shall be specified in regulations.’.


Application of Freedom of Information Act to Personal Accounts Delivery Authority

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC5

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘(1) The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36) is amended as follows.

      (2) In section 35 (formulation of government policy etc.) insert after subsection (2)—

      “(2A) Information held by or provided by the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority is not to be regarded—

        (a) for the purposes of subsection (1)(a), as relating to the formulation or development of government policy, or

        (b) for the purposes of subsection (1)(b), as relating to Ministerial communications.”

      (3) In section 36 (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) insert after subsection (2)—

      “(2A) Information held by or provided by the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority is not be to regarded—

        (a) for the purposes of subsection (2)(a), as relating to the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of Ministers of the Crown, or

        (b) for the purposes of subsection (2)(b), as relating to the free and frank provision of advice, or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation; or

        (c) for the purposes of subsection (2)(c), as relating to the effective conduct of public affairs.”.’.


Review of role and purpose of Financial Assistance Scheme

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC6

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘(1) The Secretary of State shall commission an independent review of the Financial Assistance Scheme having regard (among other things) to—

        (a) the efficiency and cost effectiveness of its administration;

        (b) whether it could be more effective if administered by the staff of the Pension Protection Fund;

        (c) whether it is adequately financed;

        (d) what other sources of finance could be made available, including but not limited to unclaimed assets;

        (e) whether it should be engaged in the purchase of bulk annuities.

      (2) The Secretary of State shall publish the findings of such review within six months of this Act coming into force.’.


Compliance with recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC7

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘The Secretary of State shall, within three months of this Act coming into force, report to both Houses of Parliament on how he proposes to comply fully with the recommendations contained in the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s 6th Report of Session 2005-06, “Trusting in the pensions promise: government bodies and the security of final salary occupational pensions” (HC984).’.


Retirement Income Funds

Mr Nigel Waterson
Andrew Selous
Mr Mark Lancaster

NC8

    To move the following Clause:—

      ‘(1) The Finance Act 2004 (c. 12) is amended as follows.

      (2) After section 152 (meaning of “arrangement”), insert—

    152A Meaning of Retirement Income Fund

      (1) In this Part, a Retirement Income Fund means a scheme for the reinvestment of savings in retirement which—

        (a) is operated by or on behalf of a person authorised to operate a registered pension scheme,

        (b) is a scheme in which investments are approved by the Inland Revenue, and

        (c) meets the conditions set out in subsections (2) to (9).

      (2) The first condition is that, subject to the other conditions in this section, funds held in the Retirement Income Fund may be invested and withdrawn by the member as and when he elects.

      (3) The second condition is that an authorised Retirement Income Fund provider must set an annual maximum withdrawal allowance for each member, based on an assessment of each member’s life expectancy, and a member’s withdrawals from the fund in any one year must not exceed that allowance.

      (4) The third condition is that, in setting annual maximum withdrawal allowances, an authorised provider must ensure that no member’s total future annual income falls below the Minimum Retirement Income level (as set under section [Minimum Retirement Income] of the Pensions Act 2007) except in the circumstances provided for in the sixth condition.

      (5) The fourth condition is that an authorised provider must set an annual minimum withdrawal allowance so that each member’s total income is at least equivalent to the Minimum Retirement Income level, except in the circumstances provided for in the sixth condition.

      (6) The fifth condition is that if a member chooses not to declare his total annual income to the authorised provider he must withdraw funds equivalent to the level of the Minimum Retirement Income level or his annual maximum withdrawal allowance, whichever is the lower.

      (7) The sixth condition is that, where there are insufficient funds to enable the annual minimum withdrawal allowance to be set so that a member’s total income is at least equivalent to the Minimum Retirement Income level, the allowance should be set at the highest level consistent with the assessment of the member’s life expectancy.

      (8) The seventh condition is that the maximum and minimum withdrawal allowances must be set at the same level if a member’s total annual income, including his maximum withdrawal allowance, is lower than the Minimum Retirement Income level.

      (9) The eighth condition is that a Retirement Income Fund, and any income derived from it, must not be capable of assignment or surrender by the member.”.’.


 
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Prepared: 6 February 2007