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Amendments to the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill

Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill -
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lords

  


          COMMONS REASONS FOR DISAGREEING TO CERTAIN
          LORDS AMENDMENTS, COMMONS AMENDMENTS TO THE
          WORDS RESTORED TO THE BILL BY THE COMMONS'
          DISAGREEMENT TO CERTAIN OTHER LORDS
          AMENDMENTS AND COMMONS AMENDMENTS IN LIEU OF
          CERTAIN OTHER LORDS AMENDMENTS

 

[The page and line refer to HL Bill 62 as first printed for the Lords.]

Amendment
No.
 
  
Before Clause 1
 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 1
 
1     Insert the following new Clause-- 
 ("PART ZI 
 ADDITIONAL PENSIOn 
     (".--(1) The Secretary to State shall by regulations make provision for one or more of the following--
    (a)  to substitute, in any provision of the Contributions and Benefits Act which relates to additional pension for widows or widowers, for any sum payable by way of such pension as is derived from the contributions of a deceased spouse, such higher sum as may be prescribed;
    (b)  to substitute, in any such provision, for any prescribed reference to the year 2000, a reference to such later year as may be prescribed;
    (c)  to establish a scheme to compensate persons who are widowed after 5th April 2000 and who suffered loss as a result of any action or failure to act in reliance on incorrect information received from a Government department with respect to the reduction in the additional pension payable to them as a result of the enactment of the former section 19 of the Social Security Act 1986.
    (2)  If regulations under subsection (1) are not in force on 5th April 2000, then until such time as such regulations are in force, the provisions of the Contributions and Benefits Act to which paragraph (a) of that subsection apply shall continue to have effect as in force on that date.
 
    (3)  No regulations shall be made under subsection (1) unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.")
 
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment but propose the following amendments in lieu thereof--
Additional pension for widows or widowers.
  
Before Clause 48
 
1A     Insert the following new Clause-- 
 ("Additional Pensions 
     .--(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make such provision as is authorised by one or more of subsections (2) to (4).
 
    (2)  The regulations may provide for any prescribed provision of Part II of the Contributions and Benefits Act (contributory benefits) which relates to additional pension for widows or widowers to have effect, in relation to persons of any prescribed description, with such modifications as may be prescribed for securing--
    (a)  that any such additional pension, or
    (b)  in the case of any provision of Schedule 5 to that Act (increase of pension where entitlement is deferred), that any constituent element of an increase provided for by that Schedule,
is increased by such percentage as may be prescribed (which may be 100 per cent.).
 
    (3)  The regulations may amend (or further amend) any prescribed provision of Part II of the Contributions and Benefits Act falling within subsection (2) by substituting for any reference to the year 2000 (or any year previously substituted by virtue of this subsection) a reference to such later year as may be prescribed.
 
    (4)  The regulations may make provision for and in connection with--
    (a)  the establishment, for a prescribed period, of a scheme for dealing with claims made by persons on the grounds that, in reliance on any incorrect or incomplete information provided by a government department with respect to the SERPS reduction (however that information came to their knowledge), they--
          (i)  failed to take any, or any particular, relevant steps which they would have taken, or
          (ii)  took any steps which they would not have taken,
 
 
    had they instead received correct and complete information with respect to that reduction; and
 
 
    (b)  securing that, where persons have made successful claims under the scheme, surviving spouses of those persons (or, as the case may be, those persons themselves) will not be affected by the SERPS reduction.
    (5)  In subsection (4) "relevant steps", in relation to a person, means steps towards safeguarding the financial position of that person's spouse in the event of the spouse becoming that person's surviving spouse or (as the case may be) towards safeguarding that person's own financial position in the event of that person becoming a surviving spouse (whether or not, in either case, that person was at any material time already married); and "the SERPS reduction" means--
    (a)  (in the context of subsection (4)(a)) the operation of any of--
Preservation of rights in respect of additional pensions.
 
          (i)  the provisions of section 19 of the Social Security Act 1986, or
          (ii)  the provisions of Part II of the Contributions and Benefits Act reproducing the effect of those provisions;
    (b)  (in the context of subsection (4)(b)) the operation of any of the provisions of the Contributions and Benefits Act mentioned in paragraph (a)(ii) above or of section 39C(4) or 48BB(7) of that Act.
    (6)  Regulations under subsection (4) may, in particular, make provision--
    (a)  with respect to the time within which, and the manner in which, claims under the scheme are to be made;
    (b)  for requiring claimants--
          (i)  to supply such information in connection with their claims as may be prescribed or reasonably requested by any person for the purpose of dealing with their claims,
          (ii)  to attend interviews at such time and place as may be reasonably specified by any person for that purpose;
    (c)  for a claim to be disallowed where the claimant fails to comply with a requirement imposed by virtue of paragraph (a) or (b) above and does not show within the prescribed period that he had good cause for that failure;
    (d)  prescribing--
          (i)  matters which are or are not to be taken into account in determining whether a person does or does not have good cause for any failure to comply with any such requirement, or
          (ii)  circumstances in which a person is or is not to be regarded as having or not having good cause for any such failure;
    (e)  prescribing the conditions which must be satisfied in relation to any claim in order for it to be a successful claim under the scheme;
    (f)  with respect to--
          (i)  the manner in which decisions under the scheme are to be made (which may include authorising decisions of any prescribed description to be made by a computer), and
          (ii)  the time within which, and the manner in which, such decisions are to be notified to claimants;
1986 c. 50.
 
    (g)  for provisions of Chapter II of Part I of the Social Security Act 1998 (social security decisions and appeals) to apply in relation to decisions under the scheme with such modifications as may be prescribed;
    (h)  for provisions of Part II of the Contributions and Benefits Act to apply in relation to--
          (i)  surviving spouses of persons who have made successful claims under the scheme, or
          (ii)  persons who have themselves made such claims,
 
 
    with such modifications as may be prescribed.
 
     (7)  If no regulations under this section are in force on 6th April 2000, then until such time as any such regulations come into force--
    (a)  any provisions of Part II of the Contributions and Benefits Act which (whether alone or together with other provisions) would otherwise result in a reduction of one-half in the amount payable by way of additional pension in cases where a person's spouse dies after 5th April 2000 shall be taken--
          (i)  as not applying, or
          (ii)  as providing for the full amount to be payable by way of additional pension,
 
 
    as the case may require; and
 
 
    (b)  in Schedule 5 to that Act--
          (i)  any provision which is expressed to apply in relation to deaths occurring after that date shall not apply, and
          (ii)  any provision which (with or without any other limitation) is expressed to apply in relation to deaths occurring before 6th April 2000 shall be taken as applying also in relation to deaths occurring on or after that date.
    (8)  No regulations shall be made under this section unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
 
    (9)  In this section "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under subsection (2), (3) or (4), as the case may be.")
1998 c. 14.
  
Clause 83
 
1B     Page 86, line 26, after ("sections") insert ("(Preservation of rights in respect of additional pensions),") 
  
Clause 1
 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 3
 
3     Page 1, line 21, at end insert ("but there shall be no requirement to take out a stakeholder pension in the form of an annuity by a specified age")
 
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment for the following Reason--
 
3A     Because it is inconsistent with the condition that a stakeholder pension must have tax exemption or tax approval. 
  
After Clause 18
 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 20
 
20     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     (".--(1) A widow in receipt of a widow's pension under any of the enactments mentioned in subsection (2) ("the DSS pension"), and in receipt of a pension paid under the Armed Forces Pension scheme shall on remarriage or when living together as husband and wife with a member of the opposite sex, only retain the Forces Family Pension (attributable).
 
    (2)  The enactments referred to in subsection (1) are--
War pensions for widows: entitlement.
 
    (a)  the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983, and any order re-enacting the provisions of that order,
S.I. 1983/883.
 
    (b)  the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983, and any subsequent scheme made under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939,
S.I. 1983/686.
1939 c. 82.
 
    (c)  any scheme made under the Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act 1939 or the Polish Resettlement Act 1947 applying the provisions of any such order as is referred to in paragraph (a),
1939 c. 83.
1947 c. 19.
 
    (d)  the order made under section 1(5) of the Ulster Defence Regiment Act 1969 concerning pensions and other grants in respect of disablement or death due to service in the Ulster Defence Regiment.")
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment for the following Reason--
 
20A     Because it involves charges on public funds, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient. 1969 c. 65.
  
Clause 50
 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 33
 
33     Page 56, line 23, leave out ("26 weeks") and insert ("two years")
 
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment but propose the following Amendment in lieu thereof--
 
33A     Page 56, line 23, leave out ("26") and insert ("52") 
 LORDS AMENDMENT No. 34 
34     Page 56, line 32, leave out ("26 weeks") and insert ("two years")
 
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment but propose the following Amendment in lieu thereof--
 
34A     Page 56, line 32, leave out ("26") and insert ("52") 
  
Clause 57
 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 42
 
42     Leave out Clause 57
 
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment but propose the following Amendments to the words so restored to the Bill--
 
42A     Page 66, line 4, leave out ("two") and insert ("three") 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 42
 
42B     Page 66, line 23, leave out ("For this purpose") and insert--
 
    ("(9)  In sub-paragraph (8)--
    benefit" includes (in addition to any benefit under Parts II to V of this Act)--
          (a)  any benefit under Parts VII to XII of this Act, and
          (b)  credits under regulations under section 22(5) above;")
 
  
Clause 58
 
  
LORDS AMENDMENT No. 43
 
43     Leave out Clause 58
 
    The Commons disagree to this Amendment but propose the following Amendments to the words so restored to the Bill--
 
43A     Page 66, line 27, leave out from ("(1)") to end of line 42 and insert ("Where--
    (a)  a person is entitled to incapacity benefit in respect of any period of a week or part of a week,
    (b)  a pension payment is payable to him in respect of that period (or a period which forms part of that period or includes that period or part of it), and
    (c)  the amount of that payment (or, as the case may be, the amount which in accordance with regulations is to be taken as payable to him by way of pension payments in respect of that period) exceeds the threshold,
the amount of that benefit shall be reduced by an amount equal to 50 per cent. of that excess.
 
    (1A)  In subsection (1) above "the threshold" means--
    (a)  if the period in question is a week, £85 or such greater amount as may be prescribed; or
    (b)  if that period is not a week, such proportion of the amount mentioned in paragraph (a) as falls to be calculated in accordance with regulations on such basis as may be prescribed.
    (1B)  Regulations may secure that a person of any prescribed description does not suffer any reduction under subsection (1) in any amount of incapacity benefit to which he is entitled.
 
    (2)  Regulations may provide--
    (  )  for sums of any specified description to be disregarded for the purposes of this section;")
 
43B     Page 67, line 1, after ("for") insert ("the aggregation of") 
43C     Page 67, line 3, after ("payable)") insert ("in respect of the same or different periods;
    (  )  for such sums or aggregate sums")
 
 
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