asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any proposals for amending the constitution of the Occupational Pensions Board.
In Chapter 7 of (Cmnd. 6514) "The Rôle of Members in the Running of Schemes", the Government said that they intended to review the constitution and membership of the Occupational Pensions Board in the light of the new responsibilities which the Government's proposed legislation outlined in the White Paper would place on the Board. In the light of consultations, particularly with the TUC and the CBI, the Government have concluded that the statutory constitution of the Board should be amended.At present, the Board is composed of a chairman, deputy chairman and 12 other members. The Government intend to amend Section 66(2) of the Social Security Act 1973 so that the Board would consist of a chairman and not less than 12 members nor more than 15 members, of whom five—four if only 12 members are appointed—would be appointed after consultation with organisations representative of employers, and the same number after consultation with organisations representative of employed earners. All members would, as now, be appointed by the Secretary of State for Social Services, and provision would be made for him to appoint any one of the members to be deputy chairman.The main effect of the proposed changes would be to increase significantly the proportion of members appointed after consultation with organisations representative of employers and employed earners, since only two members are currently appointed after such consultation. We intend to include provisions amending the constitution of the Board on the above lines in the Bill designed to give effect also to our proposals on member participation, disclosure of information and equal treatment for men and women in occupational pension schemes. As already announced, this Bill will be introduced as soon as opportunity allows. However, to avoid changing the Board's composition at a time when it is in course of preparing to implement the contracting-out provisions of the new State pension scheme, the Government would not propose to reconstitute the Board on the above basis until after 6th April 1978 when the new scheme starts.