Clause 91 - Administration levy

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 25th March 2004.

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Question proposed [this day], That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Question again proposed.

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

Before we were so rudely interrupted, I was answering the question asked by the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) about the role of the Secretary of State in relation to the administration levy. I am sure that the Committee will have been hanging on my last words of the morning, so let me add what I was about to say.

As the pension protection fund will be funded by grant in aid, which we discussed in our lengthy debate on clause 90, the administration levy will recover the Secretary of State's expenditure. In practice, the Secretary of State's involvement will be minimal. The board will make recommendations to the Secretary of State about the rate needed to recover the amount of grant in aid each year. That will work on a flat-rate basis, in a similar way to the general levy that occupational pension schemes currently pay.

Once the rate has been approved, the regulator will carry out the practical collection of the administration levy on behalf of the Secretary of State. On a pragmatic point, we plan to introduce a system whereby the regulator collects all the PPF levies. That way, the schemes will receive only one bill, so easing their administrative burden. That is much like the situation with the council tax bill, which we are all used to receiving broken down into different elements. I hope that, with that explanation, the hon. Gentleman is happy for the clause to stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 91 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 92 ordered to stand part of the Bill.