Clause 9 - Rounded figures for earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band

Pensions Bill [Lords ] – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 12 July 2011.

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

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 6:00, 12 July 2011

I hope that the clause is not the most contentious in the Bill. It is about rounding—the legal provisions for rounding the figures for the earnings trigger and the qualifying earnings band. Although the figures that we have been quoting are annual figures and sound nice and round, when they are divided by 12 or by 52 they stop being round, and the clause contains interesting but relatively uncontentious powers about whether such figures should be rounded up or down, or to the nearest 10p. Essentially, section 13 of the Pensions Act 2008 established the principle that pro rata weekly or monthly figures may be applied instead of the annual rate, and clause 5 introduces the same principle for the auto-enrolment earnings trigger. As I am sure is apparent to the Committee, clause 9 will insert a new section into the 2008 Act to allow those pro rata figures to be rounded up or down. That means that when new rates are set to match PAYE or national insurance contributions thresholds, we can match them exactly if we so wish. The clause is uncontentious and I commend it to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 9 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.