Miscellaneous and supplementary
Section 319: Minor and consequential amendments
1303.This section introduces Schedule 12 which makes minor and consequential amendments in connection with the Act. It also confers power on the Secretary of State to make by order amendments consequential on the Act in primary and subordinate legislation.
Section 320: Repeals and revocations
1304.This section introduces Schedule 13 which specifies provisions of legislation which will be revoked or repealed as a result of the Act.
Section 321: Pre-consolidation amendments
1305.This section allows the Secretary of State to modify by order the pensions legislation specified in subsection (1), where the modification in his opinion facilitates or is desirable in connection with the consolidation of that legislation. Such an order may not be made unless a Bill has been introduced for the purposes of such a consolidation and may not come into force until immediately before the commencement of the consolidating Act.
Section 322: Commencement
1306.This section provides for the coming into force of the provisions of the Act. Provisions specified in subsection (2) come into force on Royal Assent; provisions specified in subsection (3) come fully into force on 6th April 2005, as do repeals specified in subsection (4). The remaining provisions of the Act come into force in accordance with orders made by the Secretary of State under subsection (1), which may (by virtue of subsection (5)) include transitional provision and savings, including transitional adaptation and modification of the legislation specified in subsection (5)(a)(i) and (ii).
Section 323: Extent
1307.This section sets out which provisions of the Act apply in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Apart from section 106 (legal assistance scheme) which extends only to England and Wales, the whole Act extends to England, Wales and Scotland. The legal assistance scheme is very similar to the legal aid scheme which is a devolved responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. Subsection (2) specifies the provisions which extend also to Northern Ireland. Subsection (4) provides that amendments and repeals have the same extent as the provisions amended or repealed.
Section 324: Northern Ireland
1308.This section provides that an Order in Council made for Northern Ireland under paragraph 1(1) of the Schedule of the Northern Ireland Act 2000, which states that it is made only for purposes corresponding to those contained in the Act, is not to be subject to the affirmative procedure of Parliamentary scrutiny, but is instead to be subject to the negative procedure. It is anticipated that such an Order in Council will include provision corresponding with that in section 161 of, and Schedule 6 to, this Act (which are concerned with the transfer of the property, rights and liabilities of certain pension schemes to the Board of the Pension Protection Fund). In that event, subsection (2) confers power on the Secretary of State to make regulations so that provision in the Order of Council for such a transfer in Northern Ireland is recognised in Great Britain. Some pension schemes in Northern Ireland have assets in Great Britain, and provision will be required to ensure that transfers under the Northern Ireland provisions can be enforced as necessary in relation to the schemes’ property in Great Britain.
Section 325: Short title
1309.This section provides for the short title of this Act to be the Pensions Act 2004.