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Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill completes passage through Parliament

18 November 2020


The Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Billcompleted its remaining stages - report stage and third reading - in the House of Lords on Tuesday 17 November. 

No changes to the wording of the bill were suggested ahead of report stage.

Third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, took place after the conclusion of report stage.

Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at the conclusion of Lords stages.

Both Houses have now agreed the text of the bill and it awaits Royal Assent, the Queen’s formal approval, when it will become an Act of Parliament (law).

A date for Royal Assent is yet to be scheduled.

Committee stage: Tuesday 27 October

Members discussed a range of topics including overseas pensioners living in countries with reciprocal social security arrangements and pensioner poverty.

Second reading: 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:

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