Clause 10 - Inheritance of graduated retirement benefit

Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 2nd July 2013.

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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 4:30 pm, 2nd July 2013

Let me take the hon. Member for Edinburgh East back with me down memory lane. She referred earlier in our proceedings to graduated retirement benefit—a system of earnings-related pensions that, from memory, ran from 1961 to 1975. Clause 10 sets out the rules—we have to have them—on which people can inherit graduated retirement benefit. The amounts involved, as I think the hon. Lady said, are relatively small. The clause provides that changes to the primary powers for what is known as Grad in respect of single-tier pension may be made by regulations. Similar arrangements exist for changes  to the graduated retirement benefit in respect of the current old state pension scheme, where changes are made by regulation. So this is very much tidying up something to do with a legacy system, saying that if we need to do any further tidying-up we would do it through regulations. However, I stress that the inheritance of graduated retirement benefit is a very marginal element of the scheme, and this seems a proportionate legislative framework within which to deal with it. I commend clause 10 to the Committee.

Photo of Gregg McClymont Gregg McClymont Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

I do not have much to add to that. As far as I can see, this relates to clauses 7, 8 and 9, but the Minister referred to graduated benefits. He also referred to changes in regulations. That is a feature of this Bill; there is quite a lot that will depend in the medium term on regulations. However, that is often justifiable, and I certainly see no reason to oppose this clause.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 10 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.