Clause 23 - Power to pay compensation

Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:00 pm ar 27 Ionawr 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Virendra Sharma Virendra Sharma Llafur, Ealing, Southall

With this it will be convenient to discuss clauses 24 and 25 stand part.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:15, 27 Ionawr 2022

Clauses 23 to 25 are concerned with ensuring that schemes have further powers to remedy the discrimination that arose. Clause 23 provides a power for scheme managers to pay compensation in respect of any compensatable losses incurred by members as a result of the discrimination suffered. Clause 24 provides a power for scheme regulations to award a member additional benefits where a member has suffered a tax loss because of the discrimination. Finally, clause 25 provides that scheme regulations for a chapter 1 legacy scheme may make provision to give members with remediable service the facility to enter into new arrangements to pay voluntary contributions, to further address the discrimination.

Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Chief Secretary)

I have some similar questions to the one that I asked on clause 10, although the wording here is much more specific. I am looking at clause 25(3), where, again, there is a requirement that if someone wants to pay the additional voluntary contributions that they would have paid earlier but for the change in the scheme regulations, they can do so

“only if the scheme manager is satisfied that it is more likely than not” that they would have chosen to pay them had they known that the change was coming.

I have a few questions for the Minister. First, how do we ensure consistency of treatment if we have scheme members applying to different scheme managers? Perhaps more importantly, what is the route of redress if someone is unhappy with the decision of the scheme manager? Do the Government plan to legislate in order to set out clearly what the redress is in those circumstances, or do members have to fall back on the grievance and dispute procedures that are built into their terms of employment or the terms of individual schemes? That could mean that we get inconsistency when people in similar circumstances put in similar applications, so that one is approved under the rules of one scheme, and one is not approved under the rules of another. That does not deliver the equality of treatment that the Bill is intended to deliver.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his questions. The short answer is that we will use Treasury directions, which involve technical advice to scheme managers, so that we can ensure that the inconsistency to which he alludes is not broken.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 23 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 24 and 25 ordered to stand part of the Bill.