On 6 November 2008, Pensions Minister Rosie Winterton announced proposed changes to the Pensions Bill designed to ease the administrative and financial burdens for employers and to make more flexible the way companies make contributions to personal accounts (PAs).  

Concerns had been expressed that the introduction of PAs in 2012 could lead to a levelling down of pension provision, with employers providing the legal minimum in their current pension schemes, even though they may previously have been more generous.  

The amendments to the Bill propose that employers who are confident that the contributions under their existing scheme rules match or exceed those required under the new PA system will be able to “self-certify” that their scheme meets the legal quality standard on the expected value of pension contributions to be made over each coming year.  

The Minister also confirmed that the rates for the General Levy and the PPF Administration Levy for 2009/10 would be frozen at this year’s level, in order to assist employers who are struggling with scheme costs.