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Pensions Bill widely predicted for December

Liberal Democrat spokesman for work and pensions Steve Webb predicts that the Government will deliver a Pensions Bill by the end of the year, with detailed debates before Parliament breaks up for Christmas.

Webb expects the Pensions Bill to contain details of the proposed pension protection fund and changes to the priority order for wind-up.

He says the bill will be hotly contested if the Government does not give consumers, pensioners and the industry the detail they are looking for.

Industry experts expect the bill to contain the detailed rules needed to be compliant for A-day in 2005.

One senior source at a major life company says: “We are ready for a Pensions Bill that will be delivered to Parliament in early December.

“I have it from Whitehall sources that this bill will receive substantive debate in a second reading before Christmas.”

Webb says: “The important part of this bill will be the protection fund. We will be calling for the Government to put its full support behind this initiative as a lender of last resort.”

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