Work and Pensions Committee

Defined benefit pensions white paper inquiry

Inquiry status: open

The deadline for submissions was Friday 18 May 2018. If you would like to submit a late submission please contact committee staff.

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee has launched a new inquiry into the long-awaited White Paper Protecting defined benefit pension schemes (Cm 9591), published on 19 March 2018.  Following the Committee's Defined Benefit Pension Schemes report, the inquiry aims to inform and influence the planned consultation on the White Paper’s various proposals.

In the White Paper the Government adopts the Committee's key recommendation: strengthening TPR's main anti-avoidance power (the issuance of Contribution Notices) by enabling TPR to issue punitive fines to punish "irresponsible activities" that cause material detriment to a pension scheme.

The Government says it will make it a criminal offence "to have committed wilful or grossly reckless behaviour in relation to a pension scheme" – although the details of this offence are unclear. TPR will also be granted enhanced investigative and information-gathering powers. 

Terms of reference: Defined benefit pensions white paper

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