Clause 38 - Payments into Remploy Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme

Pension Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 30th October 2014.

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

Photo of Linda Riordan Linda Riordan Labour, Halifax

With this it will be convenient to consider clauses 39 and 40 stand part.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 2:30 pm, 30th October 2014

Just to jump ahead, clauses 39 and 40 are entirely consequential amendments to legislation. For example, we have to include the title of this Act in other legislation for consistency. Unless anyone has any questions, I do not propose to deal with clauses 39 and 40 in any detail.

Clause 38 is a technical amendment to the law that relates to the Remploy pension and assurance scheme. Remploy has been discussed at great length in the House, but the clause is narrowly drawn and simply gives the Secretary of State powers to make payments directly into the Remploy pension and assurance scheme rather than making such payments via Remploy.

The Government confirmed in March 2012 that they had decided to implement the Sayce review recommendations on Remploy that viable businesses should be given the opportunity to exit Government ownership or sold, and that non-viable businesses should be sold. The exit of factory businesses was completed in December 2013. On 22 July 2014, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Employment confirmed in a written ministerial statement that the Department for Work and Pensions would launch a commercial process for exiting Remploy Employment Services from Government control, a process that is on track to be completed by March 2015. The Government have confirmed that the accrued benefits of Remploy pension scheme members will be protected. The Remploy pension scheme is currently funded by Remploy Ltd as the sponsoring employer, and Remploy funding for the scheme includes the use of moneys provided to Remploy by the Department for Work and Pensions. The provision in the Bill enables the Department to fund the scheme directly should that be required at some future date.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 38 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 39 and 40 ordered to stand part of the Bill.