To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of additional (a) female workers and (b) workers from an ethnic minority who would be eligible for auto-enrolment if the earnings trigger was reduced to the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit.
Under the Pensions Act 2008, the Department is required to conduct an annual review of the automatic enrolment earnings trigger, as well as the upper and lower limits of the qualifying earnings band (the automatic enrolment thresholds). Section 14 of the Pensions Act 2008 sets out a list of non-exhaustive factors to which the Department may pay regard while conducting the Review, including National Insurance Thresholds. The Department will also have regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) contained in section 149 Equality Act 2010 and the impact on protected characteristics including sex (women) and race (black and ethnic minority groups).
The Departments decision on the review for 2020/21 was announced earlier today. The earnings trigger for 2020/21 will be set at £10,000, striking a necessary balance between bringing in those most likely to benefit from pension saving with affordability for employers.
The full analysis behind the Departments decision for 2020/21 automatic enrolment thresholds including the earnings trigger will be published in due course.