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The freeze also includes the qualifying earnings band, with the lower limit remaining at £6,240 and the upper limit at £50,270.
“The decision reflects the key balance that needs to be struck between affordability for employers and individuals and the policy objective of giving those who are most able to save the opportunity to accrue a meaningful level of savings with which to use for their retirement,” the Department of Work and Pensions said.
As a result, it is estimated that the freeze will allow an extra 17,000 people to qualify for the auto-enrolment scheme. These numbers are expected to add an extra £26 million in pension contributions for the year.
“The decision comes at a time when Government is under increased pressure to move forward with the findings of its 2017 Auto-Enrolment review. In it, Government pledged to remove the lower earnings limit by the mid-2020s, a move that would bring many more people into workplace pensions,” explained Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
The report further claimed that if the earnings trigger was raised to £12,570 it would decrease the number of savers by an estimated 119,000 people, reducing the total pension saving by £111 million.
Morrissey also noted that the Government has pledged to remove the lower earnings limit by the mid-2020s, a date which is not far away.
“It is an issue the pensions minister was questioned about in the House of Commons recently and, while freezing the lower limit will boost auto-enrolment, the pressure will continue on Government to say when it will move forward with its recommendations,” she explained.
However, in a statement released by the Government, the decision to freeze the wage trigger was also due to the “challenging economic circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The auto-enrolment scheme is a Government initiative which requires employers to automatically enrol their qualifying employees into a pension scheme.
Generally, you can expect your employer to contribute 3% of your gross salary into the fund. In return you will be expected to contribute 5% of your gross salary.
In order to join the scheme, employees need to earn a minimum of £10,000, be classified as a worker, and be over the age of 22, according to the Government website.
For more information on how this scheme works, read our online guide here.
You can begin saving for your pension at any age. The earlier you begin the more substantial your pension pot is set to become. For a more detailed information on how to build your pension given your age, click here.
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