13 February 2020
The Constitution Committee has published a report on the constitutional issues in the Pension Schemes Bill [HL] 2019–21.
The Pension Schemes Bill was introduced into the House of Lords on 7 January 2020 and had its second reading on 28 January. Grand Committee stage is expected to begin on 24 February.
The Bill provides for a new type of pension scheme (collective money purchase benefits); gives new powers to the Pensions Regulator; sets out a legal framework for the creation of online pensions dashboards; and makes provision for other miscellaneous matters.
The Committee scrutinised the Bill and made recommendations on several issues including:
Agreeing with the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee that the use of Henry VIII powers — powers which allow Ministers to alter primary legislation through secondary legislation — were inappropriate;
Regretting the inclusion of skeletal provisions in the Bill and noting that complexity is not an excuse for taking powers in lieu of policy development; and
Asking the Government who the Secretary of State may confer the power to set the standards for the pensions dashboard service on, and how they would be accountable to Parliament.
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