Pension scheme membership increased in 2014

Participation in pensions has one again increased in 2014, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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Its 2014 Annual survey of hours and earnings: summary of pension results found that the proportion of employees who belong to a workplace pension increased from 50% to 59% in 2014, the highest since records began in 1997.

Pension scheme membership increased in all age groups in 2014. The largest increase came in the 22-29 age group where membership rose from 17 percentage points to 53.

The research found that defined benefit (DB) schemes represented 49% of overall workplace pension membership, compared to 23% in defined contribution (DC); 19% in group personal pensions, and 7% in stakeholder schemes.

The research also found:

  • 87% of public sector employees and 49% of private sector employees were members of a workplace pension scheme in 2014, both increased from 2013.
  • 96% of public sector employees and 18% of private sector employees with a pension scheme had a defined benefit scheme.
  • In the public sector, 47% of full-time employees earning less than ¬£100 per week were members of a workplace pension in 2014, compared to 26% in 2013.
  • In 2014, 43% of employees with defined contribution (DC) pension schemes received employer contributions of greater than zero and less than 4% of pensionable earnings, compared to 22% in 2013.
  • 80% of professional occupations have a pension scheme compared to 39% of staff in elementary occupations.
  • Employees in process, plant and macine operative occupations saw the largest increase in workplace pension membership from 34% in 2013 to 52% in 2014.

Pension minister Steve Webb, said: “The rise in the proportion of people saving for retirement over the past 3 years is stunning. Pension saving is now at its highest level since records began.

“This is due in no small part to the success of automatic-enrolment which is changing the culture of pension saving in Britain.

‚ÄĚMillions more people are now saving into a workplace pension, allowing them to build a decent nest egg to enjoy in their retirement, on top of a reinvigorated new State Pension.‚ÄĚ