Public Service Pensions Bill: Lords consideration of amendments

24 April 2013

The Public Service Pensions Bill bounced back to the House of Lords for consideration of Commons' amendments in 'ping pong' on Tuesday 23 April

The bill was returned to the Commons with one amendment, to require a review of the effect of the bill on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) fire and police services. The review will look at the impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals affected, the ability of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service and Ministry of Defence Police to meet the MOD’s statements of requirement, and early retirement statistics in these forces. 

Consideration of amendments/ping pong explained

Once the bill has completed third reading in the House of Lords the bill returns to the Commons where it will consider any amendments made in the Lords.

Both Houses need to agree to the exact wording of the bill and the bill may 'ping pong' between both Houses until this happens.

When the exact wording of the bill has been agreed by both Houses the bill is ready for royal assent. Once a bill receives royal assent it becomes an Act of Parliament (proposals in the bill become law).

The bill's progress so far

Public Service Pensions Bill summary

The bill sets out the new arrangements for the creation of schemes for the payment of pensions and other benefits. It provides powers to ministers to create such schemes according to a common framework of requirements.

The bill provides powers to the Treasury to set specific technical details of certain requirements. It also gives powers to the Pensions Regulator to operate a system of independent oversight of the operation of these schemes.

It is intended that the powers in the bill will supersede powers in existing legislation to create schemes for the payment of pensions and other benefits.

The bill protects the benefits already earned by members of existing public service pension schemes and allows continued membership of those schemes for certain categories of person who are closest to retirement.

Next and final stage: Royal assent

Once a bill has completed all its parliamentary stages in both Houses, it's ready to receive royal assent and become an act of Parliament (law). Royal assent is the Queen's formal agreement to make the bill into an act.

There is no set time period between the consideration of amendments and royal assent.

When royal assent has been given, an announcement is made in both Houses by the Lord Speaker in the Lords and the Speaker in the Commons.
At prorogation (the formal end to a parliamentary session), Black Rod interrupts the proceedings of the Commons and summons MPs to the Lords chamber to hear the Lords commissioners announce royal assent for each bill.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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