Consultation launched on extension of Automatic Enrolment

Date published: 18 September 2023

The Department for Communities has launched a 12-week consultation on a draft Equality Impact Assessment which considers proposals to extend Automatic Enrolment for workplace pension schemes.

Text Pensions (extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill

Currently eligible workers must be automatically enrolled in a pension scheme by their employers from the age of 22. 

The 12-week consultation sets out two key proposals, namely:

  • To seek powers to lower this age limit. Lowering the age at which workers will be automatically enrolled will help make saving the norm for young adults and enable them to save from the start of their working lives; and
  • to reduce or abolish the Lower Earnings Limit. In 2022/23, contributions are required to be made on earnings between the Lower Earnings Limit of £6,240 and the Upper Earnings Limit of £50,270. Reducing or abolishing the Lower Earnings Limit will enable those on lower earnings and multiple jobs to save from the first pound earned and to benefit from employee contributions on each pound earned.

The proposals will require a Northern Ireland Assembly Bill to be taken forward.  They will not result in any immediate change but will give an incoming Minister powers to make regulations following a period of consultation on the implementation approach and timing.

Notes to editors: 

  1. This consultation is available on the DfC website at
  2. The 12 week consultation opens at 9am on 18 September 2023 and closes at 5pm on 11 December 2023.
  3. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office -
  4. Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press office can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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