Lords third reading of Public Service Pensions Bill

27 February 2013

The Public Service Pensions Bill had its third reading, the final chance to amend any part of the bill, yesterday (Tuesday 26 February)

Lord Newby (Liberal Democrat), proposed a group of government amendments to the bill. He said: 'Amendment 1 reflects the fact that some of the obligations in the bill are set in the main clauses and not in scheme regulations... Amendment 10 is concerned with circumstances where a pension that is calculated in accordance with the final salary link has been put into payment and the person subsequently returns to public service employment.'

Other suggested amendments included minor amendments and intended to clarify wording. Amendment 1 was agreed and 4 to 12 were agreed.

Amendment 2, a government amendment, covered revaluations of pensionable earnings and was agreed after Lord Newby (Liberal Democrat) explained that it was made with consideration given to Lord Eatwell (Labour) and Lord Whitty's (Labour) concerns raised in report stage. Lord Newby (Liberal Democrat) said: 'Given the uniqueness of a situation in which the revaluation of benefits could lead to a decrease in entitlement, the government believe that this is an appropriate and sensible additional safeguard of members’ interests.'

Lord Eatwell (Labour) followed: 'In the circumstances we are pleased that the government have understood some of the important issues raised, particularly by my noble friend Lord Whitty, and have brought forward appropriate amendments to take into account the arguments that he made both in committee and on report. I will therefore not move Amendment 3, and will be quite happy to see government Amendment 2 nodded through.'

The bill has completed its stages in the House of Lords and will return to the House of Commons for consideration of amendments. Should the House of Commons change anything it will return to the House of Lords.

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.

What is consideration of amendments/ping pong?

Once the bill has completed its passage through the second chamber the bill will return to the Commons where they will consider the amendments made. 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).

Previous stages of the Public Service Pensions Bill

Further information

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