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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 believe in full transparency and disclosure, but this is a very complex issue. Brevity of disclosure is sometimes clearer to people, helping them to understand all the costs and charges within their pension, rather than giving them 10, 12 or 14 pages. I would like to move on.

One point was made eloquently by both Ian Blackford and my hon. Friend Richard Graham on the question of whether the Pensions Regulator will be properly resourced to carry out the new duty. I can confirm that we have already had extensive talks with the Pensions Regulator, and that it is the Government’s fundamental view that we cannot enact a Bill such as this which deals with improving and expanding on the response without giving the regulator the proper resources that it needs.

I am pleased to say that many Members of all parties have explained that master trusts are an important part of the pensions industry. The Government are filling a gap between personal pensions and insurance-based pensions that are regulated on the one side, and on the other side the evolution of the trust system, for which there is ample pensions law and regulations. There is a significant gap in the market. We are pleased that master trusts have expanded in the way they have, but they need some regulation and attention because companies have been moving into this area simply because there is that gap in regulation. That does not mean that such trusts are a bad thing, and I am delighted to report that we are carrying out this Bill from a position of little failure. This is not a Government responding to catastrophe or calamity when people have lost money; what has happened has been successful, but we need to provide the correct regulatory framework for it.

I can do no better than conclude my speech by citing my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester, who said that the Bill was simple and important and that everybody should support it. For that reason, I commend the Bill to the House and support its Second Reading.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.


George Morley
Posted on 2 Feb 2017 2:18 am (Report this annotation)

Richard Harrington, you said " I believe in full transparency and disclosure".
Perhaps you will inform everyone as to the justification of the Frozen pension and how this fits in with justice an equality for all pensioners not to mention the Code of Conduct or the Charter of the Commonwealth both of which are conveniently ignored as are other agreements about equality.