Workplace pension scheme membership increases across all age groups

02 March 2015

The Office for National Statistics has published a summary of Pensions Results which presents an analysis of UK trends from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).

ASHE is The Office for National Statistic’s (ONS) most detailed and comprehensive source of information on levels of earnings, make-up of total earnings and distribution of the earnings of employees. ASHE details analysis of trends in levels, distribution and make-up of earnings over time for UK employees by sex, full-/part-time status, public/private sector and region.

Key points from the survey:

  • Workplace pension scheme membership has increased to 59% in 2014, from 50% in 2013, driven by increases in membership of occupational defined contribution and group personal and group stakeholder schemes. The increase is likely to be driven by automatic enrolment.
  • Occupational defined benefit pensions schemes represented less than half (49%) of total workplace pension membership in 2014, for the first time since the series began in 1997.
  • Pension membership increased in all age groups in 2014 compared with 2013, with the largest increase (17 percentage points, to 53%) in the age group 22-29.
  • In the private sector, 33% of employees with workplace pensions made contributions of greater than zero but under 2% compared with 11% of employees in 2013. The increase is likely to be driven by automatic enrolment.
  • The proportion of employees in the private sector receiving employer contributions of greater than zero and under 4% was 43% in 2014, compared with 22% in 2013. The increase may be explained by new members who have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension with lower initial employer contributions until the phasing of contributions is completed in 2018.

You can view all the tables in the data section of the full report of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.