Occupational Pensions: Females

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 9th February 2018.

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Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department as made of the financial effect on low paid women who have not been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension.

Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on workers with multiple jobs, none of which pay in excess of £10,000 per annum, of not being automatically enrolled into workplace pensions.

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

Automatic enrolment has reversed the decline in workplace pension saving. Latest figures show that nearly 9.2 million people have been automatically enrolled; with participation amongst eligible women in the private sector increasing, from 40% to 73%, to equal the rate for men. By 2019/20 an estimated extra £20 billion a year is estimated to go into workplace pensions as a result of automatic enrolment.

In addition the Government have introduced the National Living Wage and raised the personal tax allowance helping low earners. Thanks to these changes, a single person working 35 hours per week would take home £12,500 after income tax and national insurance – over £3,300 more than in 2010.

The Government’s recent review of automatic enrolment, which can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668971/automatic-enrolment-review-2017-maintaining-the-momentum.PDF, set out proposals to strengthen the workplace pension reforms, including for lower earners. By removing the lower earnings limit for those with low earnings or who have multiple jobs, those workers will have their pension contributions calculated from the first pound earned. In addition, all savers will be able to get an employer contribution regardless of their earnings. This will bring an extra £2.6 billion per year into pension saving.

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