New clauses introduced into the Pensions Bill at Committee stage include:

  • an employee whose earnings are too low (below £5,035) to qualify him for automatic enrolment into the personal accounts scheme or a qualifying private sector scheme (see Pensions Update, December 2007) will be able to require the employer to enrol him into such a scheme, but the employer will not be required to make any contributions
  • section 7(3) of the Pensions Act 1995 will be amended to allow the Regulator to appoint a trustee if it considers it is "reasonable" (currently “necessary”) to do so; this is an attempt to prevent buyout companies from circumventing the Regulator's powers by installing their own trustees
  • HMRC will be permitted to share information with the Pensions Regulator for the purposes of enabling or assisting the Regulator to discharge its functions.

The next stage will be the Report stage, followed by the third reading of the Bill in the Commons before it then moves to the Lords.