Automatic Enrolment: Lower Earnings Limit

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:06 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Mhairi Black Mhairi Black Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Pensions), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Youth affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Children and Families), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Equalities), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Disabilities) 5:06 pm, 12th March 2019

The Minister says that we have to wait for more evidence. As I said in my speech, the DWP assumed that roughly 25% of those eligible would opt out, and the 2017 average was 9%. The Minister has talked about getting updated figures, but the participation among 22 to 29-year-olds increased from 35% in 2012 to 79% in 2017. The evidence already suggests that we are heading in the right direction and that the changes are working. Further to that, the logic of the lower earnings limit being set was that some people will not earn enough to get value for money out of their pension towards the end. Would it not be an easier answer just to pay people more, and to introduce a real living wage?