The pensions industry is being given a fresh chance to feed into the Pension Schemes Bill as the Public Bill Committee launches a call for written evidence.
The bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons last week, includes provisions related to the creation of collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes, a strengthened suite of powers for The Pensions Regulator, and the launch and regulation of pensions dashboards.
While every bill must be considered by the Public Bill Committee, it is much rarer for the committee to hold an evidence session with submissions from the public. The decision likely recognises the technical detail of the impending law.
LCP partner and former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb commented: "It is hard for non-specialist MPs to scrutinise technical pensions legislation, so external input is essential. Opposition MPs in particular need to know which parts of the bill need further scrutiny, explanation or amendment.
"It is good that parliament is inviting outside contributions and this should help to ensure that important issues are aired and put on the government's agenda, even if the chances of changes being forced on the government remain low."
The committee is inviting submissions ahead of it convening on 3 November, when it will scrutinise the bill line by line. While it is scheduled to report by 5 November, its scrutiny could end earlier and any submissions not received by this time will not be considered. It has therefore recommended submissions are sent in as early as possible.
The bill was passed at the second reading without a formal vote, although Labour is expected to push for further changes during the committee stage.
Shadow pensions minister Jack Dromey told MPs during the debate that the party would explore "widening auto-enrolment, better protection against pension scams, because of the urgency of a growing scandal, and ensuring that the dashboard is run in the public interest".
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