Clause 70 - Standard Procedure

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 16th March 2004.

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Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 10:45 am, 16th March 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 198, in

clause 70, page 44, line 39, leave out 'was' and insert 'is'.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths Labour, Bridgend

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 47, 48, 50, 55 to 57, 60 and 61.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

The clauses we have just agreed to set out the standard and special procedures that the regulator will use. The purpose of specifying the different procedures is to ensure that the regulator's powers, which are varied, are nevertheless used proportionately and fairly, and that they comply with the requirements of the Human Rights Act.

Clause 70 relates to the standard procedure, which is fairly straightforward. Since we have not yet discussed either the standard or the special procedure before discussing the Government amendments, I shall explain the standard procedure. If the regulator has a case in which there is no immediate risk to scheme assets or members' benefits, and the regulator intends to exercise one of its regulatory functions, it must tell those likely to be directly affected by the regulatory action. Those affected will vary, depending on the action. They will be invited to make representations about the proposed action. The regulator will consider those representations and tell the individuals concerned what it has decided to do through the issue of a determination notice, which will be published probably electronically under clause 63 so that it will be available to any interested parties.

The regulator cannot take the action, however, until after the period for making a reference to the tribunal has expired, except in certain cases detailed in subsection 5. There are many Government amendments to the clause, which are largely technical, and correct drafting errors and ensure that the references to the Pensions Act 1995 are correct.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 47, in

clause 70, page 45, line 6, leave out '3' and insert '3(1)'.

No. 48, in

clause 70, page 45, line 10, leave out '4' and insert '4(1)'.

No. 49, in

clause 70, page 45, line 11, at end insert—

'( ) the power to make an order under section 4(2) of that Act extending the period for which an order under section 4(1) of that Act has effect;'.

No. 50, in

clause 70, page 45, line 12, leave out 'such an order' and insert

'an order under section 4(1) of that Act suspending a trustee'.

No. 51, in

clause 70, page 45, line 15, at end insert—

'( ) the power under section 9 of that Act to exercise by order the same jurisdiction and powers as the High Court or the Court of Session for vesting property in, or transferring property to, trustees in consequence of the appointment or removal of a trustee;'.

No. 52, in

clause 70, page 45, line 17, at end insert—

'( ) the power under section 30(2) of that Act to exercise by order the same jurisdiction and powers as the High Court or the Court of Session for vesting property in, or transferring property to, the trustees where a trustee becomes disqualified under section 29 of that Act;'.

No. 53, in

clause 70, page 45, line 20, after 'power', insert 'by direction'.

No. 54, in

clause 70, page 45, line 23, after 'power', insert 'by direction'.

No. 55, in

clause 70, page 45, line 28, leave out

'(a) to (c), (e) and (g) to (l)'

and insert

'(a) to (l) other than those mentioned in paragraph (d) or (f)'.—[Mr. Pond.]

Clause 70, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.