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Defined-benefit Pension Schemes

Volume 742: debated on Monday 18 December 2023

16. Whether he has had recent discussions with the Pensions Regulator on the adequacy of the administration of defined-benefit pension schemes. (900715)

I am fortunate in having already been able to meet representatives of the Pensions Regulator twice since my appointment to discuss the full gamut of their responsibilities.

Members of the BP pension scheme, a defined-benefit scheme, have seen the value of their pensions fall by 11% in real terms as a consequence of their senior management’s refusal to upgrade them in line with the cost of living, although the pension fund itself has a £5 billion surplus. Does the Minister agree that if the rules allow companies such as BP to deal from the bottom of the deck when it comes to their own pensioners, these are rules that need to be changed?

That is certainly something I need to look into. When people raise the issue of specific pension schemes, I am always conscious of just how many thousands of scheme members are potentially watching, so I do not wish to speak off the cuff and raise hopes that I may not be able to fulfil. However, I shall be happy to meet the right hon. Gentleman to discuss the circumstances in greater detail and see what can be done.