Clause 44 - Commencement

Part of Pension Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 4th November 2014.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 11:00 am, 4th November 2014

I understand the point that the hon. Gentleman makes, but I think that as he was speaking he realised the problem with what he was saying. Seeing the CAB cannot be a condition of someone accessing their own money. The providers have to flag it and, as I said in my opening remarks, not just say “There’s this guidance thing over there,” but explain that it is independent, the Government are behind it and the sort of thing it will contain. We will expect the providers to do that. We have to treat people as adults eventually and we cannot insist on those things.

We want to avoid a tick-box mentality. If all we said to providers was, “Before they can take their money, someone has to sign a piece of paper to say that they knew there was guidance and they didn’t take it,” we all know what would happen. They would sit with a salesman or someone like that who would say, “Here’s another piece of paper you have to sign.” We have to ensure that there is content in it, which is what we are doing with the behavioural testing we are carrying out now. I agree with the spirit of what the hon. Gentleman says: we want to maximise take-up of the guidance by the people who should be taking it up.