Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456756
Frequency of release: Annually
Geographical coverage: UK
Geographical breakdown: UK
Survey name(s): Occupational Pension Scheme Survey (OPSS)
Total membership of occupational pension schemes with two or more members in 2011 was estimated to be 27.2 million, the same as 2010.
The numbers contributing or having contributions paid into a scheme (active members) continues to fall. In 2011 there were 8.2 million active (employee) members of occupational pension schemes compared with 12.2 million at the peak in 1967.
Of the active members total, 5.3 million were in public sector schemes and 2.9 million were in private sector schemes.
For private sector defined benefit schemes, the average contribution rate in 2011 was 4.9 per cent for members (employees) and 14.2 per cent for employers.
For private sector defined contribution schemes, the average contribution rate in 2011 was 2.8 per cent for members (employees) and 6.6 per cent for employers.
The Occupational Pension Schemes Survey (OPSS) is an annual survey of occupational pension schemes, and is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The survey was first run in 1953, then in 1956 and 1963, and then every four to five years until 2004 when it became an annual survey. Until its transfer to ONS in 2006, OPSS was run by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD).
OPSS collects information from occupational pension schemes about scheme membership, benefits and contributions; it includes sections on very small schemes (schemes with two to 11 members) and those that are winding up. OPSS covers both private and public sector occupational pension schemes registered in the United Kingdom. Results from OPSS provide a detailed view of the nature of occupational pension provision in the UK.
This release provides summary data on membership of schemes and contributions paid. More detailed information on scheme membership, the nature of the benefits provided and contributions paid appears in the Occupational Pension Schemes Annual Report. A glossary of pension definitions are in the background notes of this release.
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.