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Lords debates Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill

14 October 2020

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Members of the Lords discussed the key principles and purpose of the Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill during second reading, on Tuesday 13 October.

Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative), Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Work and Pensions, opened the debate.

Speakers included the President of the Pensions Policy Institute and an Emeritus Governor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Two members of the House of Lords made their maiden speeches during this debate:

Committee stage, the first chance for line by line examination of the bill, has yet to be scheduled.

Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill

This bill will insert a new subsection into the Social Security Administration Act 1992, to allow the government to increase pension benefit rates, even if there has been no increase in earnings during the relevant review period.

These benefits are:

  • the basic state pension;
  • the full rate of the new state pension;
  • the standard minimum guarantee in pension credit; and
  • survivors’ benefits in industrial death benefit.

Consequently, the bill allows the government, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to maintain its commitment to the state pension triple lock, which guarantees yearly pension increases by whichever is the highest of:

  • the rate of inflation
  • the rate of earnings, or
  • 2.5%.

Image: PA