Clause 11 - Transitional period for defined benefits and hybrid schemes to be optional

Pensions Bill [Lords ] – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 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 6:15, 12 July 2011

Clause 11 is a technical amendment to section 30 of the Pensions Act 2008 and will correct flaws in the drafting. What is quite reassuring to know is that the Bill has no flaws in its drafting whatsoever and that there is no chance that my successor but three will be back here to amend our amendments. However, in 2008, mistakes were made, and I will forgive the people responsible.

As section 30 stands, it compels all employers using defined benefit or hybrid schemes to defer enrolment until the end of the transitional period in 2016. Clause 11 will make deferral a choice for the employer. The crucial point here is that section 30 makes that compulsory. While it remains an option for firms, we want to give firms a choice, so that if they have that particular sort of scheme, they can auto-enrol sooner. That will be a welcome flexibility, and it was always the original policy intent.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 11 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.