The Pensions Bill 2007 (which contains details of personal accounts) received its Second Reading in the House of Commons last month and is now being examined on a line-by-line basis by a Public Bill Committee (this is what used to be called a Standing Committee). This Bill will probably become the Pensions Act 2008, but changes following debate are inevitable. The main topic dealt with by the Bill is the introduction of Personal Accounts, in connection with which there is likely to be public consultation.

Other provisions include:

  • power for the Secretary of State (or TPR on his behalf) to charge interest on unpaid levies (including both the general levy and the PPF levy) at a defined rate;
  • a new right for TPR to use its intervention powers in the funding of a defined benefit (final salary) scheme where the scheme’s trustees have not complied with the statutory requirements to choose prudently the assumptions used in the calculation of the scheme’s technical provisions;
  • the splitting of compensation paid by the PPF on divorce under a pension-sharing order; and
  • a reduction in the maximum rate of statutory revaluation for early leavers from 5 per cent per annum to 2.5 per cent per annum over the period of deferment. This will not have retrospective effect.