Clause 1

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 22nd January 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 10:45 am, 22nd January 2008

The Minister has thrown a lot of light on that area. His comment about foreign workers—the example involved Americans—coming here for short periods and going back serves to underline the importance of looking at the issue of transferring out in a few years’ time, when someone is seconded to this country for, say, two years. Perhaps that American might be more interested in getting his contributions back out and putting them in his 401(k) scheme back in America, rather than leaving two years of contributions in the British personal accounts scheme.

I am also grateful for clarification on agency workers. My reading of clause 1(1)(a) is that what the Minister has outlined is not what is down in the Bill. Perhaps other parts of the Bill mean that it will be all right for an agency worker who is working overseas to  contribute to personal accounts, if the agency is based in the UK. I hope that a legal challenge cannot be mounted on subsection (1)(a).

I am also grateful to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey for his points on workers having more than one job, and we will undoubtedly come back to that issue in other parts of the Bill. The Minister was reasonable in his response, and I am aware of the point that he was making.