Pension Schemes Bill — Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 7th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord McAvoy Lord McAvoy Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland) 6:15 pm, 7th January 2015

My Lords, I thank the Minister for his lucid explanation of the clause and his response to my amendment. I very much welcome the pledge to move amendments at a later stage that will keep the spirit of these amendments.

This is the first time that I have moved an amendment to legislation from the Dispatch Box, and I feel that I should now just pack up and go home—I have done enough to escape without criticism. I appreciate the Minister’s attitude and flexibility on this and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 5 withdrawn.

Clause 10 agreed.

Clause 11: Power to impose requirements about factors used to determine each benefit

Amendment 6 not moved.

Clause 11 agreed.

Amendment 7

Moved by Lord Bradley

7: After Clause 11, insert the following new Clause—

“Scale of pension schemes

(1) The fiduciary duty of pension scheme trustees shall include a duty to consider whether the scheme has sufficient scale to deliver good value for members.

(2) Where trustees take the view that the scheme has insufficient scale, they must consider whether merger with another scheme would be in the members’ interests.

(3) The Pensions Regulator shall have power to direct merger of pensions schemes where it would be in the interests of the members of each of the relevant schemes for merger to take place.

(4) The Pensions Regulator shall exercise this power in accordance with a methodology on which it has publicly consulted and which has been agreed with the Secretary of State.

(5) The methodology set out in subsection (4) shall be kept under regular review and revised when necessary, subject to further consultation and agreement from the Secretary of State.”