UK Government must scrap the Lower Earnings Limit

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley this week spoke in a debate on scraping the lower earnings limit on pension contributions.

At present, workers must be aged 22 or over and earn a minimum salary of £10,000 to be automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme. The first £6,136 of income is disregarded – hiked up £104 compared to last year – when an employer works out contributions to a worker’s pension pot.

Research by the Trades Union Congress shows a delay of six years in scrapping the LEL could cut a pension pot by £12,000 – including missed contributions and investment growth on funds – for a worker with annual earnings of £10,000.

Angela called on the Tories to set out a concrete timetable to scrap the Lower Earning Limit for automatic enrolment in a workplace pension scheme.

Commenting, Ms Crawley said:

“The Tories must end their pension hypocrisy, and set out a concrete timetable to scrap the Lower Earning Limit for automatic enrolment in a workplace pension scheme.

“Delays could leave nine million people across the UK poorer – and would be a double hit for WASPI women, and low-income earners, who have already been left worse off under this government.

“The UK government should stop dragging its heels and introduce pension reforms to boost pension pots for those on low incomes.

“Pensioners have already been hammered by austerity – leaving the UK with the lowest state pension in the developed world, and robbing the lowest earners of vital funds in their retirement. “The time for platitudes is over. The UK Government must scrap the lower earnings limit and put a timescale on doing so.”