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Baroness Turner of Camden: Amendment No. 157, which is tabled in my name, has been grouped with the amendment of the noble Baroness. However, having studied both amendments, I must say that I prefer the wording put forward by the noble Baroness. I support everything that she has said. As I am sure the Minister will agree, it is important that the new institutions which come into existence as a result of the legislation can command a significant measure of public support, especially among the sections of the public most nearly

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affected. In my opinion, representatives of employers and employees should be on the board. I support the amendment.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: We fully recognise that members of pension schemes and employers who stand behind such schemes have a paramount interest in the running of the compensation schemes. I have listened with care to the arguments put forward by both noble Baronesses and I have a great deal of sympathy with their views. Indeed, we have now reached the position where I shall go even further than expressing a great deal of sympathy and say that I am prepared to accept Amendment No. 156B as drafted.

Noble Baronesses: Oh!

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I thought that that might bring a certain amount of joy to the Benches opposite; and I was not wrong.

However, as the noble Baroness has allowed us to do, we reserve the right to make any further appointments after consultation only with the chairman. I should like to congratulate both noble Baronesses on raising the issue. I am sure that the noble Baroness, Lady Turner, will agree to withdraw her amendment in due course. I shall try to remember to say the right thing when we reach the next amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear.

Baroness Seear: I believe that this is the first time in the 24 years that I have been in this Chamber that I have had an amendment accepted. Therefore, I am especially glad. I thank the Minister for his sympathetic response.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 157 not moved.]

Clause 71, as amended, agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 158 and 158A had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

[Amendment No. 158B not moved.]

Schedule 2 [The Pensions Compensation Board]:

Baroness Seear moved Amendment No. 158C:


Page 98, line 33, at end insert:
(" . where—
(a) the Compensation Board give a decision on any matter dealt with by them by means of a formal hearing or review, and
(b) they are requested on or before the giving or notification of a decision, to state their reasons for the decision,
they shall furnish a written statement of those reasons.").

The noble Baroness said: This is a small amendment to ensure that if a matter is passed to the compensation board for a formal hearing or review written statements should be given if requested. I beg to move.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I will not repeat the exercise of the previous clause. After all, I would obtain an extremely bad reputation if I did that too often. However, I can inform the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, that at paragraph 10 of Schedule 2 the details of the board's procedural arrangements are to be set out in regulations. There is a similar provision in Clause 73 concerning the procedures to be adopted on review. I am pleased to tell the noble Baroness that it is our

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intention that both of these sets of regulations should include a requirement for the board to provide written statements including reasons for its determinations in all cases. This would, in fact, go further than the noble Baroness's amendment, which would require written statements only on request. On the basis of this assurance, which seems to me every bit as good as the previous one, I hope the noble Baroness will withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Seear: I think on this occasion I do withdraw the amendment, do I not? If we are going on at this rate we had better complete the Bill and stay all night. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 159 and 160:


Page 98, line 40, leave out ("in relation to") and insert ("to an application for compensation under section 75 in respect of").
Page 98, line 42, leave out paragraphs (b) and (c) and insert:
("(b) determine the amount of any payment under section 76,
(c) determine whether any payment should be made under section 77 or the amount of any such payment, or").

The noble Lord said: I beg to move Amendments Nos. 159 and 160 and speak at the same time to Amendment No. 163. These amendments ensure that a formal application for compensation must have been made before the Pensions Compensation Board can make decisions. They also allow the board to make payments in anticipation both when it is likely that the scheme will qualify for compensation, and where it is already clear that the scheme will qualify but the final amount cannot yet be determined. Amendment No. 160 adds decisions on the amount of any payments in anticipation to the functions which the compensation board cannot delegate. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 72 agreed to.

Clause 73 [Review of decisions]:

Baroness Turner of Camden moved Amendment No. 160A:


Page 42, line 8, at end insert (" or independent recognised trade union").

The noble Baroness said: This clause provides for the compensation board to review its decisions in particular circumstances. It also sets out that it may do so on application to it of a person who appears to have an interest. That is all right but what we seek to do with this amendment is to write into the Bill the obligation of the board to review in the event of an application by an independent recognised trade union.

As I am sure everyone now knows, the unions have for a long time taken a strong interest in pension provision. They employ their own experts and they run their own training courses. My union, MSF, has its own training college and has been running courses for trustees and potential trustees for many years. It also publishes a great deal of material for scheme members and runs seminars so that members are kept up to date with developments in the pensions field. Individual

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unions have been encouraged in this area by the Trades Union Congress, which has its own in-house experts and has been doing a great deal of briefing on the Bill.

The reason we think it would be a good idea to write this provision into the Bill is that unions stand behind their members when it comes to pension difficulties. When necessary they have been willing to fund court actions, which of course are very expensive. It therefore seems entirely appropriate to give them a role when it comes to review of compensation board decisions. They are likely to have the expertise available to help members, who on their own may not feel able to ask for a review even though they may feel one is justified. I hope that the Minister will see that that is sensible and will agree with the proposition. I beg to move.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I understand the concern of the noble Baroness that trade unions should be able to apply for a review of a decision taken by the compensation board. I recognise that in representing its members' interests a trade union may wish to apply for a review, particularly if those members could face financial hardship.

Under the Bill as currently drafted the compensation board will be able to accept requests for reviews from any persons appearing to the board to have an interest. That will, rightly we believe, give the board a great deal of flexibility. The board will be able to accept review applications from employers and trustees, as well as scheme members. It will also be able to accept them from people acting on their behalf, including trade unions—in short, from anyone it considers has an interest. However, we would not consider it appropriate to identify any or all of those people in the Bill. Indeed, the way in which the amendment is drafted would effectively separate trade unions from those who have an interest. I presume that that is not what the noble Baroness intended.

I believe that the Bill gives the compensation board the flexibility to do what the noble Baroness wishes. Therefore, I do not believe that there is any need to include a specific reference to trade unions.

Baroness Turner of Camden: I thank the Minister for that response. I made a careful note of what he said and I shall read Hansard tomorrow.

I am glad to hear that the Minister believes that the board has the necessary flexibility to receive representations from trade unions representative of scheme members. I hope that we shall find that it works out like that so that unions are able adequately to represent their members with difficulties in pension provision.

In the circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 73 agreed to.

Clause 74 [Cases where compensation provisions apply]:

[Amendment No. 160B not moved.]

Baroness Turner of Camden moved Amendment No. 161:

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