Public Service Pensions Bill: Lords committee stage day two

16 January 2013

The Public Service Pensions Bill continued committee stage, line by line scrutiny of the bill, in the House of Lords yesterday (Tuesday 15 January).

Members of the House of Lords began by examining the establishment of a pension board. Lord Newby (Liberal Democrat), speaking on behalf of the government, said: 'Amendment 45 introduces a new clause to require scheme regulations to establish a scheme advisory board. The central purpose of the scheme advisory board will be to consider and advise on the desirability of future changes to the schemes.'

Baroness Donaghy (Labour) said: 'The Local Government Association and the relevant unions welcome this amendment as it ensures an effective separation of responsibilities for boards at local level and at national level, as was required.'

Amendment 45 was approved.

Members of the Lords also discussed pension ages. Amendments covered deferred pension age, a notice period for changes to pension age and extended membership of a public service scheme if workers are compulsorily transferred to an independent contractor.

Other topics covered included employer cost cap and contributions to funded schemes, publication of scheme data and closure of existing pension schemes.

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 committee stage?

Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the bill takes place during committee stage. Any member of the Lords can take part.

It usually starts no later than two weeks after the second reading and can last for one to eight days or more.

The day before committee stage starts, amendments (changes) are published in a marshalled list (amendments on related subjects are grouped together).

During committee stage every clause of the bill has to be agreed to and votes on the amendments can take place. All proposed amendments can be discussed and there is no time limit, or guillotine, on discussion of amendments.

Previous stages of the Public Service Pensions Bill

Further information

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