Clause 50

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 31st January 2008.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander Liberal Democrat, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey 1:00 pm, 31st January 2008

Good for the skiing, as the hon. Gentleman has said. I will get back to the point.

The purpose of the amendment is to allow the Minister to clarify why clause 50(1) is currently drafted in such a permissive way. My amendment inserts

“shall establish a money purchase scheme”,

which is what the Government intend. There is no doubt about that, although if there is, then the Minister will surprise us all when he responds. My question, simply, is why should the Bill not say what we are establishing as the personal accounts scheme?

I am grateful for some advice offered to me on this point. It has been suggested that, in order for personal accounts to work, the phrasing that the

Secretary of State may establish a pension scheme” is a bit strange, in that it seems to be permissive rather than mandatory, which the Minister has acknowledged by nodding. The scheme concerned must be a money purchase occupational pension scheme. Would it not be better to say so?