The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has published the Automatic Enrolment Review report Automatic Enrolment Review 2017: Maintaining the Momentum (see below). The report sets out proposals to build on the success of automatic enrolment policy to date and proposes some further changes aimed at improving the system, including:
- making pension saving the norm for young people, by lowering the qualifying age condition for automatic enrolment from 22 to 18;
- supporting all people who are automatically enrolled, particularly those with low earnings and multiple jobs, to save more for retirement by removing the lower earnings limit (currently £5,876 for the 2017/18 tax year) so that contributions are calculated from the first pound of earnings, rather than earnings from £5,876 upwards;
- recognising the diversity of people who classify as self-employed, by announcing the intention to begin testing targeted self-employment interventions in 2018, with a view to introducing pension saving initiatives.
In general, Northern Ireland’s pensions policy and legislation operate in line with Great Britain, and there is, in effect, a single automatic enrolment system across the UK. It is anticipated therefore that any changes will be introduced here and brought into operation on the same date. This is, of course, subject to the necessary Ministerial, Executive and Assembly approvals.