Clause 22 - Overdue contributions and other payments

Part of Pension Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 30th October 2014.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 12:15 pm, 30th October 2014

I beg to move amendment 44, in clause 22, page 10, line 28, leave out “The regulations” and insert “Regulations under subsection (1)”

This is intended to clarify that in clause 22(3) the reference to “The regulations” is to regulations under subsection (1).

This technical drafting amendment will make a minor change to the clause. This is purely a drafting clarification, and the effect of the clause will be unchanged.

May I explain what clause 22 will do in lieu of a separate stand part debate? Clause 22 includes a regulation-making power to require the trustees or managers of the scheme to notify a specified person in the event of any payment in respect of collective benefits shown in a payment schedule becoming overdue. Regulations can also make provision for the recovery of overdue payments. The regulations may make similar provisions to those in existing legislation that relate to money purchase schemes.

It is a key part of good governance and administration to know what contributions are due—it is important for calculations about benefits and asset values—but clause 22 deals with circumstances when the schedule of payments in clause 21 is not complied with. Clause 22 therefore provides a power for regulations to set out actions that trustees or managers must take if certain payments are overdue—for example, to notify the appropriate regulator. The regulations may also make provision for the recovery of those payments. Clause 22 is an essential part of ensuring that schemes are well run and that appropriate action, including the use of a civil penalty in certain circumstances, can be taken when problems arise.