Clause 187 - Matters on which advice of actuary

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 23rd March 2004.

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Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 2:45 pm, 23rd March 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 342, in

clause 187, page 118, line 27, after 'preparing', insert 'or revising'.

Photo of Mr James Cran Mr James Cran Conservative, Beverley and Holderness

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 343 and 344.

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

Clause 187(1) sets out matters on which trustees or managers must obtain the actuary's advice. Government amendments Nos. 342 and 343 insert into that list the requirement to obtain the advice before ''revising'' as well preparing a recovery plan and before

''modifying the scheme as regards the future accrual of benefits''.

The intention is that trustees and managers should seek advice from the scheme actuary before making any of the key decisions on the funding of their schemes.

Government amendment No. 344 inserts into the clause a subsection (4) that provides for the regulator to penalise a trustee or manager who fails to ''take all reasonable steps'' to comply with the requirements to obtain advice from the scheme actuary. That provision is consistent with the approach taken elsewhere in this part of the Bill where duties are placed on trustees and managers. I hope that the Committee will accept the amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 343, in

clause 187, page 118, line 28, at end insert—

'(e) modifying the scheme as regards the future accrual of benefits under section 186(2).'.

No. 344, in

clause 187, page 118, line 35, at end insert—

'(4) Where subsection (1) is not complied with section 10 of the Pensions Act 1995 (civil penalties) applies to a trustee or manager who has failed to take all reasonable steps to secure compliance.'.—[Mr. Pond.]

Clause 187, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.