New legislation that makes it compulsory for employers to enrol workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme is the subject of the first balloted debate in the House of Lords in the new parliamentary session.
The debate took place on Thursday 10 June.
Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope, former Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions spokesperson, opened the debate.
Automatic enrolment to a qualifying scheme, which includes mandatory employer contributions, comes into force from 1 October 2012.
Other Members who contributed to the debate:
- Lord Fowler, former Conservative Secretary of State for Employment
- Baroness Noakes, former Conservative spokesperson for Work and Pensions and for the Treasury
- Lord McKenzie of Luton, former Labour Minister for the Department of Work and Pensions
Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, responded on behalf of the Government.
Five hours are set aside on one Thursday in each month for two balloted debates in the House of Lords.
A balloted debate provides a forum to discuss a subject rather than decide on it.
This type of debate takes its name from how the subject for discussion is chosen – by randomly selecting from the topics proposed by Members of the Lords. The Clerk of the Parliaments carries this out.
Only Members on the back benches and cross benches can propose a topic for debate – known as tabling a motion.
Because the time limit for a balloted debate, the subject for debate must be narrow enough to discuss in that time. There are limits to speaking time for Members taking part. A schedule of speakers is usually available in advance.