Clause 218 - Restrictions on commutation and age at which benefits may be received

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 18th March 2004.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Conservative, Eastbourne

I shall be brief, because I know that hon. Members' constituencies are beckoning.

The clause deals with removing age and commutation limits, and deals with them in great detail, although I shall not. This is a useful moment to draw the Committee's attention to the considerable disappointment in the pensions industry about the fact that the Bill does not contain provisions permitting schemes to convert the famous GMPs into scheme benefits on the basis of actuarial equivalents. Nor does it seek to amend section 67 of the 1995 Act to allow retrospective modifications to scheme rules, or remove the requirement to obtain member consent for the commutation of equivalent pension benefits.

At least some of those issues, which are clearly important to people, were flagged up as possible subjects of additional amendments to the Bill. Will the Under-Secretary confirm that and tell us, if he can, where those amendments are in the pipeline?

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

Given the lateness of the hour, and given that the hon. Gentleman has raised a specific question, I propose to write to him in response, saying where we are in that process.

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Conservative, Eastbourne

Does the Under-Secretary not know?

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 218 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 219 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Further consideration adjourned.—[Margaret Moran.]

Adjourned accordingly at nineteen minutes past Five o'clock till Tuesday 23 March at half-past Nine o'clock.