A quarter of private sector staff are in workplace pensions

Only a quarter (26%) of private sector employees are active members of their employers’ pension scheme in the UK, according to research by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The research, Employers’ pension provision survey 2011, also found that only 31% of private sector organisations currently offer pension provision for their staff.

Both figures are down from research conducted in 2007, when 31% of private sector employees were in a workplace pension scheme and 41% of private sector employers offered a pension scheme to staff.

The research also found:

  • 45% of respondents without a current workplace scheme said they intend to enroll all their employees into the National employment savings trust (Nest), while 11% said they will set up their own scheme and 5% said they will use a combination of both.
  • 60% of respondents who already offer some form of pension provision said they plan to keep all current members of their largest or only scheme in their existing scheme.
  • 55% of respondents who intend to keep at least some employees in their largest scheme said they are likely to maintain their current contribution levels for existing members, while†34% said they are likely to increase contributions and 6% said they would reduce contributions.

Steve Webb, pensions minister, said: “Auto-enrolment into workplace pensions will start the monumental shift we need to get millions more people in Britain saving for their retirement.

“It’s a major change for business too, especially for firms that don’t currently offer pension schemes for staff, and it is good news that so many say they will use Nest.

“Nest is designed around the needs of people who are new to pension saving, with low charges, costs and easy-to-use services.

“We expect around half of all new savers to be Nest members, including many low-paid and part-time workers, women and young people, who will get a contribution from their employer for the first time.”

Read also the Employee Benefits auto-enrolment roundtable

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