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The Public Service Pensions Bill 2012-13 would establish a framework enabling the Government to introduce new public service pension schemes. In line with the recommendations of the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission, the new schemes would provide pension benefits based on career average rather than final salary and individuals would have a normal pension age linked to their State Pension age (except for the schemes for the firefighters, police and armed forces, which would have a normal pension age of 60). Except where transitional protection has been agreed for those closest to retirement, the existing schemes would close for future accrual by April 2015 (2014 for the local government schemes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

All the amendments made to the Bill in the House of Lords were in the name of the Government Minister, except for two related to the pension age for the members of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service and Ministry of Defence Police, which were opposed by the Government. The House of Commons voted to reject these amendments on 22 April 2013. However, the Government subsequently accepted an opposition amendment to require a review of the effect of the Bill on the MoD fire and police services, with particular regard to the impacts on the health and well-being of the individuals affected. The Bill received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013 and is now the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

This note aims to provide an overview of the main issues of debate, concentrating in particular on issues where a substantive amendment was made, on which there was a vote, or to which a member of the House of Lords indicated an intention to return. The Government’s Explanatory Notes to the Lords’ amendments are on the Parliament website. Earlier stages of the Bill are in Library Research Paper RP 12/57 Public Service Pensions Bill, RP 12/72 Public Service Pensions Bill – Committee Stage Report and Lords Library Note 12/45, Public Service Pensions Bill.

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