Bill Briefing: The Pensions Bill

17 January 2007

The Pensions Bill 2006-7 was introduced on 28 November 2006 and was read for the second time in the House of Commons on 16 January 2007.  Before the introduction of the Bill there had been widespread public debate regarding pension provision particularly around the areas of state pension age, and provision for women and carers.  The Bill takes forward recommendations made by Lord Turner in his 2005 report A New Pensions Settelment for the Twenty-First Century.  The main points addressed by the Bill are as follows:


  • Contribution conditions for the receipt of the Basic State Pension will be relaxed so that contributors will qualify for the full pension after 30 years for both men and women.
  • Rules governing credit contributions will be changed to make it easier for people caring for children or the disabled to qualify for the full state pension.

  • Increases in the Basic State Pension will be linked to earnings rather than prices from 2012.  The exact date will be announced at the beginning of the next Parliament.

  • The State Pension Age for both men and women will be increased by stages to 68 by 2044.  No one aged over 47 today will be affected by this change.

  • A Personal Accounts Delivery Authority will be established to oversee the introduction of "personal accounts".


The Bill has generally been welcomed by stakeholders, although concerns have been raised that there will still be insufficient incentive for people to save for retirement due to the interaction with means-tested benefits.  In its second reading in the House of Commons all parties welcomed the bill and it's move to address inequalities in pension provision.