Workplace Pensions

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 2018.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley 12:00 am, 19th November 2018

What estimate the Government have made of the number of people paying into workplace pensions.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Nearly 10 million people are enrolled in a workplace pension thanks to the success of automatic enrolment. In the Crawley constituency, approximately 48,000 eligible jobholders have been automatically enrolled, and thanks are due to the 1,600 employers who have fulfilled their duties locally.

Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

Will my hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to Crawley-headquartered B&CE and its People’s Pension for playing such an important role in that roll-out of pensions?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

It was a delight to visit The People’s Pension with my hon. Friend, to see the hundreds of local staff who are doing such a fantastic job and the work that the company is doing as a great local employer, to receive a Crawley Town football shirt—I must confess that I have not yet worn it—and to support a great local business.

Photo of Jack Dromey Jack Dromey Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions)

Auto-enrolment was a landmark achievement, a creation of the last Labour Government. I welcome the progress that has been made, but does the Minister agree that the threshold is too high—37% of female workers, 33% of workers with a disability, and 28% of black, Asian and ethnic-minority workers do not enjoy auto-enrolment—and that it cannot be right for workers under the age of 22 to be excluded?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I think that the hon. Gentleman will accept that while auto-enrolment has been a cross-party success story, it was this Government who actually introduced it. The issue that he raises was comprehensively addressed by the 2017 auto-enrolment review, which was conducted by three independent support organisations, and the key points that he raises are being addressed in the current AE review.