COMMONS

Committee to examine the Government’s State Pension reform plans

22 January 2013

On 14 January 2013 the Government published a White Paper setting out its plans to introduce a new single-tier State Pension. A draft Pensions Bill has now been published  setting out the legislative changes which would be needed to implement the reforms.

The Government plans to introduce this new State Pension from 2017 at the earliest. It will be set at around £144 per week (in 2012/13 prices). The State Second Pension (S2P) will end, as will the current arrangements for defined benefit pension schemes to contract out of S2P and for lower National Insurance contributions to be paid by both contracted-out employees and their employers.

The changes will not apply to people who are in receipt of a State Pension when the new arrangements are introduced.
The Government has asked the Work and Pensions Select Committee to carry out the pre-legislative scrutiny of the part of the draft Bill relating to the establishment of a single-tier State Pension. The Committee will undertake a detailed examination of these clauses, and make recommendations for any necessary changes, before the finalised Bill is introduced.

Submissions of no more than 3,000 words are invited from interested organisations and individuals.
Submissions should be structured so that it is clear to which Clause of the draft Bill your comments relate.
The Committee is particularly interested in the aspects of the proposed reforms set out below. There is no need to address all of these issues.

  • What impact the proposals will have on specific groups, including:
  • Women and people with caring responsibilities
  • Self-employed people
  • Younger and older cohorts of future pensioners
  • Future pensioners who will still rely on income-related benefits in retirement.

  • The proposed arrangements for the transition from the current system to the new one, including:
  • How accrued rights will be protected
  • The effects of ending contracting-out of the State Second Pension. 

  • What impact the changes in the qualifying rules for a State Pension are likely to have.

  • How the proposals are likely to affect the future need for means-tested pensioner benefits and incentives to save for retirement.

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 15 February 2013.

The Committee will also take oral evidence on the draft Bill. Details of the oral evidence sessions will be announce shortly.

How to submit your evidence

  • Contributors should feel no obligation to comment on all the issues raised above, but should focus on those areas in which they have particular expertise or interest.
  • The draft Pensions Bill contains provisions affecting other areas of pensions policy. However, the Committee’s inquiry will only address the State Pension reform proposals and submissions should focus on this specific policy area.
  • Submissions should make clear which Clause of the draft Bill your comments relate to.
  • Submissions should be in Word or rich text format, not PDF format, and sent by email to workpencom@parliament.uk  The body of the email must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The email should also make clear who the submission is from. Hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Work and Pensions Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.
  • Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained piece of written evidence. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include a summary. For further guidance on the submission of evidence see:
    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/witnessguide.pdf (PDF PDF 2.46 MB)
  • Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Material already published elsewhere may be referred to within a proposed piece of written evidence, in which case a link to the published work should be included.
  • Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee. It is the Committee’s decision whether or not to accept a submission as formal written evidence.
  • Please bear in mind that the Committee cannot investigate individual cases.
  • The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet (where it will be accessible by search engines) or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 Photo: iStock

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