Ryan Oates
Posted By Ryan Oates
25/01/2021

Automatic enrolment requires employers to enrol all workers, who work in the UK and who satisfy specific age and earnings criteria into a qualifying workplace pension, and to pay at least the minimum level of contributions. 

Automatic enrolment threshold

The automatic enrolment earnings trigger determines who is eligible to be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by their employer, in terms of how much they earn. 

The earnings threshold to be auto-enrolled into a workplace pension has been frozen at £10,000 for 2021/2022.  

  2020/2021  2021/2022 
Automatic enrolment threshold  £10,000  £10,000 


Qualifying earnings band 

‘Qualifying earnings’ are the minimum earnings that pension contributions are usually based on, if you contribute to a workplace pension: 

They include: 

  • salary
  • wages
  • overtime
  • bonuses and commission
  • statutory sick pay
  • any statutory pay received during paternity, maternity, adoption or any other kind of family leave. 

Some employers use a different earnings basis though – usually either pensionable earnings or total earnings.

The following changes will be made to the qualifying earnings band for 2021/2022: 

  2020/2021 2021/2022 
Lower limit  £6,240 £6,240 
Upper limit  £50,000  £50,270 


The upper limit has been increased in line with the National Insurance Upper Earnings Limit. 

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