The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) (No. 2) Bill at second reading on 14 July 2023. The bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Baroness Altmann (Conservative). The bill has passed the House of Commons, where it was sponsored by Jonathan Gullis (Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North) and received cross-party support.

The bill’s single substantive clause would amend the Pensions Act 2008 to give the secretary of state regulation-making powers to fulfil the ambitions set out in a 2017 review, namely to:

  • reduce the lower age limit at which otherwise eligible workers must be automatically enrolled (or re-enrolled) in a pension scheme
  • reduce or repeal the lower earnings limit of the ‘qualifying earnings band’ so contributions are calculated from the first pound of earnings, as well as modify the requirements of the annual review of the qualifying earnings band

The government has said it intends to use the first of these regulation-making powers to meet the ambition set out in the 2017 review of lowering the lower age limit for enrolment from 22 to 18. Regulations made under powers in the bill would be subject to the affirmative procedure, meaning both Houses of Parliament would need to consent before the regulations could become law.

The government supports the bill and the Department for Work and Pensions has supplied explanatory notes, a delegated powers memorandum and an impact assessment for the bill.

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