Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings pension tables

26 March 2018

The ONS has published new figures on workplace pensions, taken from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

The key findings include:

  • Employee workplace pension scheme membership has increased to 73% in 2017, from 67% in 2016, driven predominantly by increases in membership of occupational defined contribution schemes (including National Employment Savings Trust) within the private sector

  • In 2017, there were 89% of public sector employees who were members of a workplace pension scheme compared with 67% of private sector employees, this gap continues to narrow following the introduction of automatic enrolment in 2012

  • Those aged 22 to 29 years had the largest growth in pension membership from 65% in 2016 to 73% in 2017

  • In 2017, full-time employees in both the public and private sectors had almost equal proportions of workplace pension scheme membership for men and women (92% in public sector, 78% in private sector)

  • In 2017, there were 94% of full-time employees with the highest gross weekly earnings (£600 and over) and 81% of lower earners (£100 to £200) in the public sector who were pension scheme members compared with 87% and 27% respectively in the private sector

  • Workplace pension scheme membership for private sector employers with 1 to 99 employees increased from 35% in 2016 to 52% in 2017, yet this group still had the lowest proportion of employees with a workplace pension scheme within the private and public sectors

  • Nearly half (48%) of private sector pension members in 2017 contributed greater than zero and under 2% of their earnings, an increase from 42% in 2016, this increase is likely to be driven by current minimum contribution levels for automatic enrolment

Annual survey of hours and earnings pension tables, 2017 provisional and 2016 revised results