Pension Schemes Bill introduced to House of Lords

The Pension Schemes Bill was introduced in the House of Lords today (7 January), beginning its parliamentary journey into becoming law.

The bill, which is expected to be republished tomorrow, was reintroduced in the Queen's Speech on 19 December 2019 following the Conservative Party's victory in the General Election.

However, there has been no confirmation of the timescale for its progress through parliament and royal assent.

It includes legislation to establish collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes, enhance The Pensions Regulator's powers and provide the framework for the pensions dashboard.

The Department for Work and Pensions also confirmed that bosses endangering company pension scheme could face lengthy jail terms in the proposals set out in the bill.

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, stated: “With this bill, we’re pushing ahead with our revolutionary pensions agenda and delivering for the millions of people brought into saving for later life by our reforms.

“We’re ensuring those who put pension schemes in jeopardy feel the full force of the law, transforming the way people get information about their retirement savings and introducing a new pension that could boost returns for millions.

“This legislation is the crucial next step in making the UK the best place in the world to retire.”

The second reading paper “may be updated” as the bill goes through parliament, according to the government, with additional papers being added to the library to reflect its progress.

In its current form, the bill will also amend legislation for the Pension Protection Fund compensation regime to enable the lifeboat to continue to provide compensation as intended and amend the definition of administration charges.

Furthermore, the document stipulates that trustees will now be required to provide a statement on their funding strategy for defined benefit pension schemes and creates regulations to set out circumstances under which a pension scheme member will have the right to transfer their pension savings to another scheme.

It also confirmed that pension schemes will be compelled to provide accurate information to consumers and that TPR will have powers to ensure that relevant schemes comply.

The bill was initially announced in the Queen's Speech on 14 October 2019.

Its provisions would extend and apply to the whole of the UK. Pensions policy is reserved in Scotland and Wales but devolved to Northern Ireland.

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