48% of UK employees were in workplace pension schemes in 2011

Almost half (48%) of UK employees were members of an employer-sponsored pension scheme in 2011, falling below 50% for the first time since 1997, according to figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The figures, which are part of the update to Pension Trends, chapter, 6, 7 and 8, also showed that there were 8.3 million active members of workplace pension schemes in the UK in 2010. Of this figure, three million were in the private sector and 5.3 million were in the public sector.

The report also found:

  • In 2010/11, 35% of UK workers were contributing to private pension schemes, 37% of who are men and 33% are women.
  • In 2010/11, there were 7.4 million active members of defined benefit (DB) schemes and 6.9 million contributing to defined contribution (DC) pension schemes.
  • In 2010, the average employee in a private sector DB pension scheme contributed 5.1% of salary, compared with 2.7% for employees in DC pension schemes.
  • In 2010, the average employer contribution rate for private sector DB pension schemes was 15.8%, compared with 6.2% in DC pension schemes.

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