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Release: Pension Trends, Chapter 7: Private pension scheme membership, 2013 edition

Released: 16 July 2013


David Knight

Pensions Analysis Unit

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 455633

Categories: Economy, Personal Finances, Pensions, Occupational and personal pensions

Frequency of release: Ad-hoc

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: UK

  • The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) estimates that, in 2012, 46% of UK employees were active members of a workplace pension, the lowest level since records began in 1997.
  • ASHE estimates that active membership of defined benefit pension schemes fell from 46% of employees in 1997 to 28% in 2012.
  • The Occupational Pension Schemes Survey estimates that there were 8.2 million active members of occupational pension schemes in 2011, the lowest recorded level since the 1950s. Although membership in the private and public sectors has fluctuated over the period, private sector membership had fallen to 2.9 million in 2011, while public sector membership had been fairly stable for a number of years at just over 5.0 million.
  • In 2011, according to the General Lifestyle Survey, 46% of self-employed men had never belonged to a personal pension, the highest percentage since the series began in 1991/92. The percentage of self-employed men that belonged to a personal pension in 2011 was 34%, the lowest percentage since 1991/92.
Pension Trends provides a statistical backdrop for the debate on pensions. It looks at changes in pension provision over time in the context of social and economic developments and changes in the policy environment.

These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.