Pension Schemes Bill — Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 7th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government) 4:45 pm, 7th January 2015

My Lords, can I probe the Minister on his response? It seemed that he was praying in aid the guidance service as an alternative to the proposition advanced in the amendment. We will obviously come on to discuss the guidance service more fully on Monday, but I understand that this is, effectively, an upfront and one-off sort of offer. With increased flexibility, are we not likely to be in an era where people will no longer necessarily make the cliff-edge decision on an annuity on day 1 of retirement but will wish to address that some time later during the course of their retirement? In those circumstances, if somebody was looking to purchase an annuity five years after retirement, and having had some income draw-down or other product in the interim, what would be in place to protect people in the annuity market at that point, as the Minister suggested, and not on day 1? Presumably, the guarantee will not be available to be provided on a free basis.