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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

Commentary

The three options for provision in regulations are set out in subsection (2), subsection (3) and subsections (4) to (6) respectively.

Subsection (2) enables regulations to increase above 50% the proportion of SERPS “inherited” by specified categories of widow(er)s.

Subsection (3) enables regulations to provide for the postponement of the reduction to some year later than the year 2000.

Subsections (4) and (5) enable regulations to provide for a scheme, to be in operation for a specified period, under which claims would be made by people who, in reliance on incorrect or incomplete information provided by a government department about the SERPS reduction, have not safeguarded their own or their spouse’s financial position in the event of widowhood after 5th April 2000. Those, or the spouses of those, who claimed successfully under the scheme would not, in the event of their being widowed after 5th April 2000, be affected by the reduction in SERPS payable as part of Widow’s Benefit, Bereavement Benefits or Category B Retirement Pension.

Subsection (6) enables those regulations to provide also for procedural and other matters regarding the scheme, such as the time and manner in which claims must be made, the information to be provided, the conditions for success, the decision-making process, and appeals.

Subsection (7) prevents the reduction in SERPS from taking effect until regulations are in force to provide for at least one of the three options described above.

Subsection (8) requires a draft of any regulations under this section to be approved by each House of Parliament before the regulations can be made.

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