Pension reversal on the cards

07 July 2004
Ministers are reportedly being forced to amend the forthcoming Pensions Bill after industry experts warned that the legislation could be "disastrous" for the economy.

A two-week debate in the House of Lords will be opened tomorrow by Baroness Hollis of Heigham, Lords minister for the Department for Work and Pensions.

A couple of months ago, the government dismissed industry fears concerning the Bill, claiming that critics had failed to understand the proposed laws. However, the Times newspaper now claims that amendments to the Bill could be announced as early as Thursday morning.

Industry leaders expressed concern that the Bill could force innocent company directors, shareholders, private equity firms and associated businesses to plug holes in company pension funds.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said officials had been holding meetings with the British Venture Capital Association and the CBI and stated that Baroness Hollis would give "more detail" on the clauses in the next few days.

A CBI spokesman said: "Baroness Hollis has been very receptive to our concerns. But we still need more certainty that people will not be inadvertently caught up in the Bill."