The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the Pensions Dashboards (Prohibition of Indemnification) Bill at second reading on 3 March 2023. It is a private member’s bill first introduced by Mary Robinson (Conservative MP for Cheadle) in the House of Commons on 20 June 2022. Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative) is the bill’s sponsor in the House of Lords.
Pensions dashboards are new online services that will allow individuals to see their pensions information in one place online. Once launched, the purpose of the dashboards is to help increase people’s understanding of and engagement with their pensions.
Research has shown that knowledge of and engagement with pensions is low amongst some people. A recent study by the Pensions Policy Institute also stated that the number of lost pensions increased by an estimated 73% from 2018 to 2022.
The bill would make it a criminal offence for occupational or personal pension scheme trustees or managers who receive a penalty under the Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 to reimburse themselves with pension scheme assets. The regulations set out requirements that need to be in place to enable pensions dashboard services to operate effectively. This includes a power for the Pensions Regulator to issue financial penalties for breach of the regulations.
The bill received its second reading in the House of Commons on 15 July 2022. It was considered in public bill committee for one day on 26 October 2022. As no amendments were made at committee stage, the bill was reported without amendment and progressed straight to third reading on 20 January 2023. The bill received support from the government and MPs from various parties during its passage through the House of Commons.