Pension Schemes Bill second reading scheduled for 7 October

The second reading for the Pension Schemes Bill in the House of Commons has been scheduled for 7 October 2020.

It had its first reading on 16 July 2020 after completing its passage through the House of Lords the previous day.

Although there is no debate on the first reading of a bill in the House of Commons, debate is likely during the second.

In most cases, debate amongst the government, the opposition and backbench MPs takes place before a vote on whether the bill can proceed to committee stage, where each clause and any amendments may be debated.

The bill can progress through the second reading with no debate if MPs agree to its progress.

Debate on the Pension Schemes Bill is almost certain to take place, with amendment proposals, including from Work and Pension Committee chair, Stephen Timms, on pension scams, having been revealed prior to the second reading.

Additionally, Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott confirmed that a clause will be introduced that allows legislation to set conditions on members’ statutory right to transfer.

In response to a parliamentary written question, Stedman-Scott said the legislation would require members to confirm they have obtained information or guidance of the associated risks of scams, and confirm they still want the transfer to go ahead.

These conditions will be applied to statutory transfers unless requests are to a firm regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or an authorised master trust.

The government is also bringing forward new information requirements from the age of 50 to those with defined contribution (DC) pensions, according to Stedman-Scott.

These requirements will inform DC savers aged over 50 about their retirement options and the availability of guidance to help with their retirement decisions in “more simplified terms”.

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