EXCLUSIVE: 73% of employers offer group personal pension schemes

73% of employers offer group personal pensions schemes

Just under three-quarters (73%) of respondents offer a group personal pension (GPP) scheme for auto-enrolment, making it the most popular type of pension scheme that is offered.

The Employee Benefits research 2020, published in May 2020, which surveyed 269 HR decision-makers, found that this has been the most popular pension scheme for a number of years, offered by a similar proportion of respondents: in 2017, 67% of respondents used it as their primary scheme for auto-enrolment, 69% did so in 2018, and 66% in 2019.

As in 2018, the second most popular choice for a primary pension is an open defined benefit (DB) scheme, as offered by 30% of respondents.

As one would expect, the number of respondents whose primary pension plan is a closed defined benefit scheme is falling. This year 4% have a DB scheme that is closed to new members but open to future accrual, and 3% have a DB scheme that is only for accrued benefits and closed to future accrual.

These types of schemes were offered by 7% and 11%, respectively, in 2019. Perhaps because they are still paying out benefits, these schemes are the most popular schemes offered as a secondary pension, after auto-enrolment duties have been fulfilled.

The stakeholder pension has fallen in popularity as a scheme to meet auto-enrolment purposes; this year just 12% offer it, compared to 29% in 2019 and 31% in 2018. The proportion of employers that use a master trust as their primary pension scheme has remained similar to that in recent years; this year it is offered by 12%.