Lords examines Pension Schemes Bill

06 February 2015

The Pension Schemes Bill had its third reading, a final chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Thursday 5 February.

Members of the Lords discussed an amendment on appropriate pensions guidance. They concentrated particularly on the impact of new pensions freedoms and flexibilities on income-related benefits and social care costs.

The Pension Schemes Bill now returns to the Commons for consideration of Lords' changes.

Lords report stage: Tuesday 27 January

Members of the Lords discussed suggested changes covering the rules on modifications of pension schemes and pensions guidance. They also considered a series of amendments on how the new regulations will work in Northern Ireland.

Lords committee stage day two: Monday 12 January

Members of the Lords discussed proposals on providing comprehensive pensions guidance, and a suggestion for an annual review of the guidance guarantee. They also considered pensions flexibility and the potential impact on government revenues. 

Lords committee stage day one: Wednesday 7 January

Members of the Lords discussed a number of changes to the bill, including a new section about ‘decumulation’, the process of converting pension savings into retirement income. They also looked at the powers of the Pensions Regulator, and requirements for managers of a pension scheme to have a policy for cash equivalents of pensions within the scheme.

Pension Schemes Bill and Taxation of Pensions Bill (Money Bill): Second reading, Tuesday 16 December

Peers spoke about the key features of both bills, including changes to allow people to access their pensions with more flexibility and new rules around the taxation of pensions at death. They also outlined plans in the Pension Schemes Bill to provide people with access to free, impartial guidance so the range of options available to them at retirement is clear.

Members expressed some concern about the speed at which the reforms are being introduced, and encouraged the government to undertake a review within two years of the reforms coming into force. They also warned that the new flexibility in the pensions market could lead to people being exploited, and proposed that safeguards should be put in place.

Royal Assent of the Taxation of Pensions Bill is expected on 17 December.

Pension Schemes Bill summary

A bill affecting pension schemes, including:

  • arrangements that offer people different levels of certainty in retirement or that involve different ways of sharing or pooling risk
  • ways to give people greater flexibility in accessing benefits and to help them make informed decisions about what to do with benefits.

Taxation of Pensions Bill (Money Bill) summary

A bill covering the taxation of pensions.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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