The Pensions Bill 2013/14 was introduced in the House of Commons on 10 May 2013. Its main elements are to:
– Introduce the single-tier state pension for future pensioners from April 2016, replacing the current basic State Pension and additional State Pension;
– Bring forward the increase in the State Pension age (SPA) to 67 to between April 2026 and 2028 and to provide for a periodic review of the SPA;
– Reform benefits for bereavement by introducing a new Bereavement Support Payment, with support focused on the period immediately following bereavement;
– Provide for a system of automatic transfers so that a small pension pot will follow an individual to their new pension scheme when they change jobs;
– Make amendments to Pensions Act 2008 in relation to automatic enrolment in to workplace pension schemes, which started to be introduced from October 2012; and
– Make other amendments related to private pensions, including the abolition of “short service refunds”, a new objective for the Pensions Regulator; and provision for regulations to prohibit the offer of incentives to transfer certain pension rights.
The Bill had its Second Reading on 17 June 2013. The Public Bill Committee had twelve sittings between 25 June and 12 July 2013. The Government made some amendments to the provisions on bereavement benefits and to one of the clauses related to auto-enrolment, which proved uncontroversial. It also added a new clause relating to Pension Protection Fund compensation for people with long service. No Opposition amendments were agreed to. The Government made further amendments to the Bill at Report Stage on 29 October 2013. Again, no Opposition amendments were agreed to.
This note aims to provide an overview of the main elements Bill, providing links to more detailed information where possible. It will be updated as the Bill progresses through Parliament.