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 Baroness Drake Baroness Drake Labour 4:45 pm, 7th January 2015

If I may presume to comment on my noble friend’s amendment, the Minister made the comment that it was being proposed as an alternative to the guidance. I do not think that it is. It is basically saying that guidance is guidance; that is what you would receive but you then move into the purchase or decision activity which flows from that guidance. It is what happens at that stage—the relationship between the consumer and the person providing the annuity, whether it is a scheme or a retail provider of retirement products—which is causing a lot of people anxiety. Some refer to it as the second line of defence; this is another way of addressing that. It is trying to regulate the quality of the exchange between the provider of the product, be it an annuity or in some other form, and the consumer at that point. That is a post-guidance activity, not a substitute for guidance.