Total pension membership in UK is 27.2m

In 2011, the estimated total membership of occupational pension schemes in the UK was 27.2 million, the same as 2010, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The 2011 Occupational pension scheme survey, which includes a range of information on membership, contribution rates and changes to pension schemes, found that private sector pension schemes with two or more members totalled 44,190.

The research also found:

  • 79% of private sector pension schemes had between two and 11 members.
  • Large schemes, with 5,000 or more members, accounted for only 1% of all schemes.
  • There were an estimated 8.2 million active members in occupational pension schemes: 5.3 million in public sector schemes and 2.9 million in private sector schemes.
  • Active membership in private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes fell from 3 million in 2006 to 1.9 million in 2011.
  • 65% of active members of public sector DB schemes were in schemes that were open to new members, compared with only 45% of active members of private sector DB schemes.