§ London Regional Transport pension etc schemes
1. (1) In this Schedule—
employment" means employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship (whether express or implied and, if express, whether oral or in writing) and related expressions shall be construed accordingly;
LRT pension scheme" means any occupational pension scheme for the provision of pensions for or in respect of persons with service in the employment of London Regional Transport or a subsidiary of London Regional Transport (whether or not pensions may also be provided under the scheme for or in respect of persons without such service);
LRT welfare scheme" means a scheme (other than a pension scheme) for the provision, whether directly or indirectly, of benefits for or in respect of persons with service in the employment of London Regional Transport or a subsidiary of London Regional Transport (whether or not benefits may also be provided under the scheme for or in respect of persons without such service);
occupational pension scheme" has the meaning given in section 1 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993;
order" means an order made by the Secretary of State under section 322(1) of this Act;
prescribed" means specified in, or determined in accordance with, an order.
§ (2) Subject to sub-paragraph (1) above, expressions used in this Schedule and in section 322 of this Act have the same meaning in this Schedule as they have in that section. Amendment of LRT pension schemes
§ 2.—(1) In the case of any LRT pension scheme, the provision that may be made by order under section 322(1) of this Act includes provision for or in connection with-
- (a) the allocation of assets, rights, liabilities or obligations between different sections of the scheme;
- (b) securing that the scheme continues to be approved for the purposes of the relevant enactments, notwithstanding any transfers made by or under this Act.
§ (2) In sub-paragraph (1) above "the relevant enactments" means—
- (a) Chapter I of Part XIV of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (retirement 13enefit schemes); and
- (b) Part III of the Pension Schemes Act 1993, so far as relating to occupational pension schemes.Protection of pension arrangements of transferred employees
§ 3.—(1) For the purposes of this paragraph, a "protected person" is a person—
- (a) who, as a result of any prescribed relevant transaction, becomes, or since 20th March 1998 has become, an employee of a private sector company; and
- (b) who, immediately before becoming such an employee, was an employee of London Regional Transport or a subsidiary of London Regional Transport.
§ (2) The Secretary of State nay by order make provision for the purpose of securing that no protected person (and, accordingly, no person who is or may become entitled to a pension in respect of a protected person) ceases to be overall in materially at least as good a position, as respects pension arrangements, as a result of—
- (a) the relevant transaction by reason of which the protected person is such a person; or
- (b) any pensions order made in connection with that relevant transaction.
§ (3) The provision that may be made by virtue of sub-paragraph (2) above is provision for the purpose of securing that a protected person has the right—
- (a) for so long as the appropriate conditions are satisfied, to continue to participate as a contributing member in any prescribed LRT pension scheme in which he was participating as such a member immediately before the relevant transaction, and
- (b) for so long as his period of continuous employment is not broken, to participate as a contributing member in a pension scheme under which the benefits to be provided to or in respect of him are overall materially at least as good as those provided under any prescribed LRT scheme in which he was participating as a contributing member immediately before the relevant transaction, subject to any provision made by virtue of sub-paragraph (6) below.
§ (4) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3)(a) above, "the appropriate conditions" are—
- (a) that the protected person continues to be a person employed in the London underground railway industry (whether or not with the same employer); and
- (b) that any prescribed conditions with respect to continuity of employment are satisfied in his case.
§ (5) The provision that may be made by virtue of sub-paragraph (2) above includes provision for or in connection with the level of funding which is to be maintained in the case of any pension scheme of a prescribed description so far as relating to protected persons.
§ (6) An order made by virtue of sub-paragraph (2) above may make provision for such orders to cease to have effect in the case of any protected person if-
- (a) he voluntarily withdraws from an occupational pension scheme, or
- (b) he requests that his pension rights be transferred from an occupational pension scheme,
§ (7) Circumstances may be prescribed in which—
- (a) a break in the continuity of a person's period of employment,
- (b) a person's ceasing to be a person employed in the London underground railway industry, or
- (c) a person's voluntary withdrawal from an occupational pension scheme,
§ (9) For the purposes of this paragraph—
- (a) the persons who are to be regarded as "employed in the London underground railway industry" are those who are employed to carry on activities of a class or description specified for the purposes of this sub-paragraph in an order made by the Secretary of State; and
- (b) the Secretary of State may so specify any class or description of activity which, in his opinion, falls within, or is related to or connected with, the London underground railway industry.
(10) In this paragraph—
contributing member", in the case of any pension scheme, means a member who makes, and whose employer makes in respect of him, contributions under the scheme;
pensions order" means an order made otherwise than by virtue of this paragraph;
private sector company" means any company other than a public sector operator, within the meaning of Chapter VI of Part IV of this Act;
relevant transaction" means—
Power to dispense with consent of trustees
§ 4. If the Secretary of State makes provision under this Act for or in connection with—
- (a) enabling employees of Transport for London, or of a subsidiary of Transport for London, to participate in an LRT pension scheme, or
- (b) enabling Transport for London or a subsidiary of Transport for London to participate as an employer in such a scheme, he may by order make provision requiring the trustees of the scheme or any other person whose approval or consent is necessary in connection with the doing of anything required to be done by virtue of the order to give that approval or consent.
§ LRT welfare schemes
§ 5.—(1) The provision that may be made by order under section 322(1) of this Act includes provision with respect to 1277 the provision, under an LRT welfare scheme, of benefits for or in respect of persons who are or have been employees of—
- (a) London Regional Transport or any subsidiary of London Regional Transport; or
- (b) Transport for London or any subsidiary of Transport for London.
§ (2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) above, the provisions of section 322 of this Act, and of the other paragraphs of this Schedule, shall apply in relation to an LRT welfare scheme as they apply in relation to a pension scheme, but taking references in those provisions to pensions as references to benefits and construing references to pension rights accordingly.
§ (3) The Secretary of State may by order amend the memorandum and articles of any company which is the trustee of an LRT welfare scheme for or in connection with permitting directors or shareholders of the company to be persons who are officers or servants of Transport for London or a subsidiary of Transport for London.
§ (4) Any powers—
- (a) which were vested in the London Transport Board in relation to an LRT welfare scheme, and
- (b) which have not become vested in London Regional Transport by virtue of a transfer under section 16(1) of the Transport (London) Act 1969 or otherwise,
§ (5) Anything done at any time by or in relation to London Regional Transport—
- (a) before the coming into force of sub-paragraph (4) above, and
- (b) in reliance on any power deemed by that subparagraph to be vested in London Regional Transport,
§ The Commons agreed to this amendment with the following amendments
§ 793A Line 39, at the end of paragraph 2(1)(b), insert ("or any qualifying transaction").
793B Line 40, in paragraph 2(2), after ("above") insert—
(""qualifying transaction" means any relevant transaction, within the meaning of paragraph 3 below, as a result of which a person is or becomes a protected person for the purposes of that paragraph:").
§ 793C Line 129, in paragraph 4(a), after second ("London,") insert ("or of a private sector company (within the meaning of paragraph 3 above)").
§ 793D Line 130, in paragraph 4(b), leave out ("or").
§ 793E Line 131, in paragraph 4(b), after second ("London") insert ("or such a company").
§ 793F Line 170, at the end of the Schedule, insert—
§ ("Former employees of predecessors of London Regional
6. In the application of section 322 of this Act in a case where the body or person falling within paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of that section is London Regional Transport or a subsidiary of London Regional Transport, 1278 paragraph (c) of that subsection shall have effect with the insertion, after "falling within paragraph (b) above", of "or this paragraph".").
§ Lord Whitty
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree en bloc with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 793A to 793F to Lords Amendment No. 793.
These amendments relate to pensions. The schedule to which these amendments refer relates to the framework within which the implementation of assurances which were given by the Deputy Prime Minister in another place will take effect. Those assurances related to the right of London Underground staff who would transfer as a result of the public private partnership to retain their membership of the London Regional Transport pension fund and the benefits which go with it.
Noble Lords will recall that I explained at Third Reading how the Government intended that this assurance would be implemented by secondary legislation. These amendments do not introduce a new policy but clarify and tidy up the existing provisions.
Amendments Nos. 793A and 793B make clear that an LRT pension scheme may be amended for the purpose of protecting the pensions of those staff transferred to the private sector as a result of PFI deals since 20th March 1998, as well as of those staff who will transfer as a result of the London Underground PPP deal.
Amendments Nos. 793C, 793D and 793E extend the Secretary of State's power to require the trustees of the LRT pension fund to give consent to changes, including ensuring that employees of private sector companies are able to participate in the LRT funds, as well as employees of TfL.
Amendment No. 793F extends the Secretary of State's powers to make amendments to the LRTPF affecting people who were employees of any predecessor body of LRT, rather than simply of its immediate predecessor. This is intended to eliminate a possible anomaly where a member of the LRTPF scheme whose employment ceased before the establishment of the LRT's immediate predecessor would fall out of the meaning of the schedule as it currently stands. I commend the amendments to the House.
Moved, That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 793A to 793F as amendments to Lords Amendment No. 793.—(Lord Whitty.)
§ Lord Jenkin of Roding
My Lords, at the beginning of the proceedings this afternoon my noble friend Lady Miller said that she would impose on herself a regime of silence. She felt that she had made her complaints about the way the Bill has been dealt with. I believe that my noble friend has done that with passion and conviction. At that stage, it was not necessary to add to the points she made.
However, this is the last debate we shall have on the Bill. I should like to put on the record my view that if the Government produce a Bill of this size, of which 1279 pages and pages consist of government amendments introduced at Third Reading in the second House, and which even now still have to be amended—the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, has shown us that that is the case—by yet further government amendments from another place, the chances of the Government having got the Bill right must be absolutely nil. It is not possible to legislate properly in such a hasty manner or to expect legal advisers, draftsmen and officials to have been able to think through all the consequences of the pages of new amendments that have only just been tabled.
I beg Her Majesty's Government to consider, when drawing up legislation for the next Session of Parliament, that never again are the two Houses of Parliament faced with a piece of legislation like the one before us. The Bill is being rushed through on to the statute book in the sense that it was obviously produced long before it was ready. Whole areas of the Bill have not been properly drafted and, in many cases, may not even have been properly thought through. Both Houses of Parliament have been expected to take on the Bill and deal with it, receiving amendments, further amendments and even amendments to amendments, all of them government amendments. That is not the way in which Her Majesty's government should be carried on. I hope that Ministers will take my words to heart and try to do better.
§ Lord Clinton-Davis
My Lords, it is a little rich for noble Lords from the party which, when in government, amended legislation at a very late stage in the process, to advance that kind of argument. I agree that we have too much legislation, but that affects both sides and is not a singular offence. The noble Lord ought to recognise that.
§ Baroness Blatch
My Lords, it is important to counter the view taken by the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis. The Bill before us is unprecedented because the amendments, of which now there are almost 1,000, have come from the Government, and have arrived very late in the day. Even at Lords Consideration of Commons Amendments we are considering government amendments to amend government amendments which amend government amendments. During the eight or nine years that I served on the Government Benches, no measures as complex as the one before us were introduced at such a late stage and at such short notice.
Many of us have only today seen for the first time the amendments before us. Those of us who listened to the debate in another place yesterday evening had hoped for a little light to be shone on the complexity of the amendments that have come before us today. I agree wholeheartedly with my noble friend Lord Jenkin. Let us hope that this will never be repeated in this House again.
§ Lord Whitty
My Lords, I may have missed something, but I am not sure that any of the comments in our debate have addressed the amendments before 1280 us, which have been tabled to safeguard the pension arrangements for London Underground staff. They will make their contributions under a new system of funding for London Transport to the future benefit of Londoners and their public transport system.
Having said that, I feel that I must respond to the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, and the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch. Why are we here? We are not here because we want to produce a complex piece of legislation, but because we are constructively and creatively trying to re-establish a London-wide authority which has been missing for nearly 20 years as a result of wanton destruction by the last regime. Rather than seeking constructive reform of the old GLC, that administration chose instead to abolish it. A complex Bill was introduced to abolish the GLC, followed by a further complicated measure to abolish ILEA. But it is so much easier to destroy something than to create something.
The Bill before us will create a whole new authority to manage the strategic planning, the transport system, the police and the environment of Greater London. That is a difficult and complex job, but one that urgently needs to be done for Londoners. I cannot quite follow the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, when he used the word "rushed" to describe any of the proceedings that we have had in this House. Nevertheless, I understand that there have been difficulties in the House when dealing with the Bill.
However, the prize we have been seeking, and the outcome which I believe we now have, is to re-establish a strategic authority for Londoners so that they can democratically control their futures in a way that has been so seriously absent because of the destructive views of a previous regime nearly 20 years ago. In commending this Motion and group of amendments, I hope that noble Lords will feel that we have, despite everything, done a good job on the Bill and that it will stand Londoners in good stead.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.