New Clause 23 - The Pensions Ombudsman and Deputy Pensions Ombudsmen

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 27th April 2004.

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'(1) In subsection (2) of section 145 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (c. 48) (the Pensions Ombudsman) after ''hold'' insert ''and vacate''.

(2) For subsection (3) of that section substitute—

''(3) The Pensions Ombudsman may resign or be removed from office in accordance with those terms and conditions.''.

(3) After that section insert—

''145A Deputy Pensions Ombudsmen

(1) The Secretary of State may appoint one or more persons to act as a deputy to the Pensions Ombudsman (''a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman'').

(2) Any such appointment is to be upon such terms and conditions as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(3) A Deputy Pensions Ombudsman—

(a) is to hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms and conditions of his appointment, and

(b) may resign or be removed from office in accordance with those terms and conditions.

(4) A Deputy Pensions Ombudsman may perform the functions of the Pensions Ombudsman—

(a) during any vacancy in that office,

(b) at any time when the Pensions Ombudsman is for any reason unable to discharge his functions, or

(c) at any other time, with the consent of the Secretary of State.

(5) References to the Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the performance of his functions are accordingly to be construed as including references to a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the performance of those functions.

(6) The Secretary of State may—

(a) pay to or in respect of a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman such amounts—

(i) by way of remuneration, compensation for loss of office, pension, allowances and gratuities, or

(ii) by way of provision for any such benefits,

as the Secretary of State may determine, and

(b) reimburse the Pensions Ombudsman in respect of any expenses incurred by a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman in the performance of any of the Pensions Ombudsman's functions.''

(4) In Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 24) (other disqualifying offices), after ''Pensions Ombudsman'' insert ''and any deputy to that Ombudsman appointed under section 145A of the Pension Schemes Act 1993.''.

(5) In Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25) (other disqualifying offices), at the appropriate place insert—

''Pensions Ombudsman and any deputy to that Ombudsman appointed under section 145A of the Pension Schemes Act 1993''.'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.