The government has set the automatic enrolment earning figures for the 2021/22 tax year as follows:

  • Earnings trigger: £10,000
  • Qualifying earnings band: £6,240 – £50,270

The earnings trigger is the level of earnings that a jobholder must receive in order to be eligible for automatic enrolment. The level of the earnings trigger has remained unchanged since the 2014/15 tax year.

The qualifying earnings band is the earnings in respect of which an employer must pay employer pension contributions for jobholders who have been automatically enrolled. The ends of the band for 2021/22 are equivalent to the lower and upper earnings limits for National Insurance contributions, which will make payroll administration easier for employers.

Employers should ensure that their payroll processes are updated to reflect the new figures which came into force on 6 April.

The pension scheme(s) that an employer uses to meet its automatic enrolment duties must meet certain “quality requirements”. The government is required to review certain of these requirements every three years. The government conducted a review of these requirements for defined benefit and hybrid pension schemes in late 2020 and has recently confirmed that it will not make any changes to the current requirements. The next review will take place in 2023.