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Pension Schemes Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:34 pm on 30th January 2017.

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Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10:34 pm, 30th January 2017

I should point out to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that your predecessor in the Chair, Natascha Engel, was very robust in her attempts to reduce the content of Members’ speeches to that which is relevant to the Bill. I will do my best to continue with that tradition.

I was expecting some excellent contributions to this debate and I have not been disappointed. I thank hon. Members on both sides of the House for the general spirit of consensus on the basics of the Bill. A number of hon. Members raised issues that go beyond the authorisation of master trust pension schemes and administration charges, the two issues covered in the Bill, and I am itching to rebut them. However, I realise, Mr Deputy Speaker, that I would be deemed to be out of order as they are out of the scope of the Bill, so I shall not do that. The Government were criticised by Opposition Members on the grounds that the Bill’s scope was not wide enough. I will address two points in particular.

On the scope of auto-enrolment, we will announce shortly a statutory review in 2017. It is my intention to make that review wider than the limited definition within the Bill. That will report by the end of the year. It is not in the Bill, which regulates master trusts, but it has not been ignored by the Government and it will not be.