Bill to extend AE scheduled for final reading in HofL

The Private Member's Bill on extending auto-enrolment (AE) passed the committee stage in the House of Lords yesterday (12 September) in a debate that lasted less than 30 seconds.

The bill, which is sponsored by MP Jonathan Gullis and Baroness Ros Altmann, seeks two extensions to AE, abolishing the lower earnings limit for contributions and reducing the age for being automatically enrolled to 18.

Although there had been disappointment that the bill was unable to pass through parliament prior to the summer recess, the bill has since continued its passage through parliament, with amendments to the bill tabled prior to the debate either.

The bill has now been scheduled for its third reading in the House of Lords on 18 September 2023.

Once the bill has been passed, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be required to carry out a public consultation on the proposed use of these powers to lower the minimum age and abolish the lower earnings limit.

Pensions Minister, Laura Trott, previously committed to consulting on these plans "as soon as humanly possible", with suggestion that a consultation could be launched as soon as this autumn.

Key issues that are expected to be covered in the consultation include whether these changes should be phased in, as well as the correct age threshold, given some calls to cut the age threshold to 16.

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