On 25th June 20202 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons, on: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative. A transcript is below:
Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative”
On 25th February 2020 Baroness Crawley asked the Government, “further to the announcement by the then Prime Minister on 8 November 2014, what plans they have to reinstate the war widows’ pension for those widows who were required to surrender that pension due to marriage or cohabitation.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, does the noble Baroness agree that the scandal of this situation is that it applies only in cases where the incident that caused death occurred between April 1973 and April 2005? Those widowed because of an incident before 1973 or after 2005 do not lose their benefit if they remarry. That is complete nonsense and shameful. Should it not be put right? Furthermore, the noble Baroness has described this payment as a benefit. Can we not describe it instead as compensation? Should not war widows’ pensions be called war widows’ compensation so that widows are not subject to this sort of withdrawal?
Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough presses Government on war widows’ pensions”
On 6th February 2019 Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, received a written answer to a question about Police widows pension entitlements.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service on 24 January 2018 (123402), what plans they have, if any, to amend the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 and the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 to equalise the support given to the widows of police officers. [HL13065]
Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about support for Police widows”
On 15th January 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion to Approve the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, spoke during the debate:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I just wanted to ask the Minister: how much consultation was undertaken with industry before the first regulations were produced? Did industry suggest, rightly, that this would cause trouble for the Pensions Regulator and others because it was bigger than just the United Kingdom? Continue reading “Archbishop of York asks Government about consultation process for new pension regulations”
On the 11th December 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP introduced four Church of England Measures to the House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee. The Committee approved the Measures following discussion.
Third Delegated Legislation Committee
[Stewart Hosie in the Chair]
Tuesday 11 December 2018
Ecumenical Relations Measure, Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, Church Property Measure and Church of England Pensions Measure
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): I beg to move,
That the Committee has considered the Ecumenical Relations Measure (HC 1687).
The Chair: With this it will be convenient to consider the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (HC 1688), Church Property Measure (HC 1689) and Church of England Pensions Measure (HC 1690).
Dame Caroline Spelman: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hosie. To some colleagues, this may be an unusual format for the Committee. I would like to explain that the Measures that we are considering have been through the Ecclesiastical Committee, which is composed of Members from both Houses, is cross-party and is chaired by Lady Butler-Sloss. On 24 October, we went through all these Measures in considerable detail, and I have the report of that careful scrutiny, so I hope that today we may be able to deal with the Measures expeditiously.
Continue reading “Church Measures on buildings, pensions, ecumenism and miscellaneous provisions, approved by House of Commons”
On 13th September 2016, Lord Haskell asked the Government whether the Pension Protection Fund will be able to meet its obligations to pensioners. The Lord Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: Perhaps I may push the Minister a little more. I totally accept that the value of pension funds goes up and down according to a number of factors, but recent statistics show that 56 of the FTSE 100 companies had a combined pension deficit of £42.3 billion, which was up from £25 billion in the previous year—so growing fairly steadily. Just last year those FTSE companies were able to pay out dividends of £53 billion—a sign of their success. Does the Minister think that those companies have the balance right between shareholders and employees? If not, will the Government consider doing something about it to ensure that their responsibilities are taken more seriously? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about growing pension deficits of FTSE100 companies”
On the 9th September 2016 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to three written questions about state pensions of British citizens overseas.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to review their policy of freezing state pensions of British citizens residing in overseas countries, where there is no existing reciprocal social security arrangement in place. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about state pensions for British citizens overseas”
On 5th February 2015, the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, spoke during the Third Reading of the Government’s Pension Schemes Bill. He spoke in favour of an amendment relating to the provision of pension guidance. Following assurances from the Minister, the amendment was withdrawn.
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, if the Minister is assuring us that there will be information online and people will be able to understand everything, why cannot this amendment be put on the statute book so that there is a duty on the Treasury to inform people about this issue? For me the provision is so simply worded that I do not understand why it cannot be on the statute book. Continue reading “Archbishop of York speaks in debate on Pension Schemes Bill”
On the 22nd January the Bishop of Derby Lead a debate on a Church of England Measure reforming the Church Pensions system. The House of Lords considered and approved the Measure which will now move to the House of Commons.
Church of England Pensions (Amendment) Measure
Motion to Direct
Moved by The Lord Bishop of Derby
That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Church of England Pensions (Amendment) Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, this very short Measure makes a single change to the Church of England Pensions Measure 1997. It extends by a further seven years the period during which the Church Commissioners have power to use the capital of their general fund in order to fund their historic pension obligations. The Pensions Measure 1997 conferred the original power on the commissioners to spend capital in order to support their responsibility to pay pensions for clergy service before 1998. The original power came to an end in 2004, and has been extended twice since then, on each occasion for seven years. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby takes Church of England Measure on Pensions through the House of Lords”
On 27th March Peers debated the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget statement. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Peter Forster, cautioned that if society were to experience renewed growth and prosperity, it should guard against recreating the problems of the past 30 years. He argued for an emphasis on strengthened social institutions, including families, continued commitment to overseas aid, and improved financial education.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the reason that the Bishops sit on the government side of the Chamber, I am told, is the recognition that the task of government is so difficult that the Government need all the help available to them. Managing the economy in recent years has been an enormously difficult task and we can only express relief and, indeed, gratitude that things seem to be moving on to a more normal plane despite all the challenges ahead, about which the Chancellor himself is fairly candid. Continue reading “Freedom and Responsibility: Budget speech by the Bishop of Chester”