Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill will not seek to remove the earnings trigger

25 February 2022

The private members bill, initially read on 5 January 2022, is due for its second reading on 25 February 2022. Details of the bill reveal that the rumoured plans to scrap the earnings threshold are not included. 

The plans aim to increase the proportion of the population saving into pension schemes for retirement. With the automatic enrolment age being lowered to allow young savers more time to take advantage of compound interest. Lowering, or removing, the earnings trigger would also bring lower earners into workplace pension schemes. 

This follows Opperman’s previous statement detailing the governments intent to keep the earnings trigger and qualifying earnings bands the same for 2022/23 tax year.

Its omission may be related to previous government warnings that reducing the trigger may result in income being diverted away from day to day needs for lower earners. It also noted that, due to wage growth, freezing the trigger would have a real terms decrease and bring an additional 17,000 savers into pension schemes.

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