All 1 Lord Bradshaw contributions to the Pension Schemes Act 2021

Read Bill Ministerial Extracts

Tue 30th Jun 2020
Pension Schemes Bill [HL]
Lords Chamber

Report stage (Hansard) & Report stage (Hansard) & Report stage (Hansard): House of Lords & Report stage

Pension Schemes Bill [HL]

Lord Bradshaw Excerpts
Report stage & Report stage (Hansard) & Report stage (Hansard): House of Lords
Tuesday 30th June 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Pension Schemes Act 2021 Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 104-I Marshalled list for Report - (25 Jun 2020)
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait Baroness Neville-Rolfe [V]
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My Lords, I have little to add, but I very much agree with ensuring that

“the closure of schemes that are expected to remain open to new members, either indefinitely or for a significant period of time, is not accelerated”,

to quote from the amendment. I look forward to hearing from the Minister on how he can meet the House’s concerns.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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My Lords, I too welcome this amendment in the name of my noble friend Lady Bowles to help keep open defined benefit schemes. This is to be applauded, as I believe that they are in the best interests not just of their members but of wider society. Open defined benefit schemes assist UK plc over the long term and reduce the potential burden on the state from inadequate pension provision.

As we have heard, the genesis of this Bill dates back to corporate failures such as Carillion and BHS. It is right that the Government look to address the shortcomings that led to these failures and the losses that members of those schemes unfortunately suffered—but it is important to learn the right lessons. BHS and Carillion were fundamental examples of pension schemes brought down by a failure of corporate governance to manage those companies properly, not of companies brought down by a failure to manage their pension schemes.

Like other noble Lords, I understand the Pensions Regulator seeking to protect members’ benefits, but it should look at defined benefit schemes, because they look to the future. They do not just look in the rear- view mirror but have a much wider responsibility to act in the best interests of all members—past, present and future.

Any moves to significantly reduce those returns by forcing schemes that remain open to new members to start investing in line with the risk profile of closed schemes will have unintended consequences. I shall certainly support the noble Baroness, Lady Bowles, if she decides to call a Division.