Clause 146 - Recovery of value

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 1st April 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

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

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Shadow Minister (Treasury)

The clause makes it a requirement on trustees and managers to try and recover some of the money that has been lost through fraud if

''they may do so without disproportionate cost and within a reasonable time.''

I suspect that that is replicating features of the 1995 Act, but I am not as familiar with that Act as perhaps I should be. What sort of judgment do we expect the PPF to make on disproportionate cost and reasonable time? Obviously, we do not want pensioners left hanging around for years, while lengthy court proceedings take place at the end of which not very much money is recovered.

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

That is why the clause makes provision for a so-called settlement date. Although the trustees and managers are required to make reasonable and appropriate inquiries, and attempt to recover any of the funds that are lost as a result of fraud, we have to give what the Americans call ''closure'' to these issues and move on. That is why, as the hon. Gentleman suggested, the idea of a settlement date is proposed both in the 1995 Act and in clause 146.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 146 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 147 and 148 ordered to stand part of the Bill.