Clause 44 - Commencement

Part of Pension Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 4th November 2014.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 11:15 am, 4th November 2014

Obviously, I cannot pre-empt the outcome of the FCA’s studies and reviews, but as I said a moment ago, those studies are being undertaken because we are aware that there have been problems in this market. We are prepared to introduce further measures, if that is what the studies suggest.

Finally, I want to respond to my hon. Friend the Member for Amber Valley, who made a number of points in discussing his amendments to new schedule 1. I am gratified that he wants to share the love, as he put it, and wants DWP and the Treasury to be equally responsible for all this. He will appreciate that making two separate Government Departments responsible for the same thing creates challenges. The discussions that he, as a member of the Work and Pensions Committee, has been having about having two regulators highlight  the challenges of involving different Departments with different roles and different regulators. We are clear that it is right to make a single Department responsible in legislation, but I assure my hon. Friend that our two Departments are working very closely—I was going to say uncharacteristically closely. I have met the Chancellor and other Treasury Ministers on a number of occasions to discuss this issue and—I have been dying to say this all my political life—I shall have further such meetings later this week. That is about as close as I will ever get. The two Departments are joined at the hip on this issue, because we both want to see success.

I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s practical suggestion that DWP’s pensions information at state pension age should refer to this issue. We are developing an approach that will signpost the guidance in our state pension forecast information.