Press release

From October pensions will no longer be the preserve of the few - Webb

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Builders, waiters and gardeners are among those who will benefit most from automatic enrolment into workplace pensions starting next month.

Builders, waiters and gardeners are among those who will benefit most from automatic enrolment into workplace pensions starting next month, new analysis by DWP reveals today.

The industries where workers are currently least likely to have a workplace pension are Construction (with 33 per cent of workers saving); Distribution, Hotels and Restaurants (28 per cent); and Agriculture and Fishing (19 per cent).

Gas fitters, electricians and plumbers are among those building up the most savings in any sector (66 per cent are saving), yet Energy and Water is the sector that has seen the sharpest decline in saving, down 20 per cent over the past 15 years from 86 per cent.

Automatic enrolment will reverse this trend.  Millions will get access to pension saving, many for the first time, and everyone will get a contribution from their employer.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:

“Pensions are far too important to be the preserve of the few. All workers deserve a decent income in retirement, and far too many are missing out at the moment, particularly those on low to moderate incomes who need them the most. 

“Next month, with the dawn of automatic enrolment millions of workers from every industry across the country will start saving so they can secure a more prosperous retirement.”

There has been a dramatic decline in the Distribution, Hotels and Restaurant industries since 1997, with pension saving down from 46 to 28 per cent.   And saving is down in the Banking, Finance and Insurance sector from 58 to 44 per cent

Pension saving has fallen across all age groups, but it is steepest among those aged 22-29, falling from 43 per cent in 1997 to 24 per cent today.

Both men and women are saving less, although pension saving has fallen further for men - down from 59 to 44 per cent, and from 49 to 39 per cent for women.

Up to 11 million people are expected to be eligible for automatic enrolment, with 6 to 9 million newly saving or saving more in all forms of workplace pension scheme.

Notes to Editors

  1. The figures are from DWP estimates derived from the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, GB, 1997 to 2011 and refer only to private sector workers.  Charts are attached below.
  2. In 2011 around 13.5 million workers were not saving into a workplace pension. Of these, 12.3 million were in the private sector and 1.2 million in the public sector.
  3. Automatic enrolment starting on 1 October will see people aged 22 to state   pension age earning over £8,105 a year start to be enrolled into their   employer’s pension scheme, starting with the largest firms first. All employers will enrol their staff by April 2017._ _

Private Pensions Saving Statistics Analysis

Table 1 : Eligible employees participating in workplace pension schemes by industry

  Agriculture & Fishing Energy and Water Manufacturing Construction Distribution, Hotels & Restaurants Transport & Communication Banking Finance & Insurance Public Admin, Education & Health Other Services
1997 32 87 61 48 47 66 59 79 53
1998 28 87 61 41 45 68 58 80 54
1999 26 86 62 37 46 69 57 81 50
2000 27 86 61 34 44 70 58 81 49
2001 26 85 62 38 45 69 58 81 47
2002 28 86 65 46 46 64 61 82 50
2003 30 86 63 45 43 68 60 81 48
2004 27 81 63 43 40 66 56 80 44
2005 28 84 61 38 37 64 55 79 43
2006 27 86 60 40 37 61 54 80 43
2007 26 81 57 38 35 60 54 79 43
2008 25 69 57 37 33 61 49 79 38
2009 23 67 56 35 31 59 50 78 37
2010 22 68 55 34 30 59 50 78 36
2011 23 67 52 33 28 56 47 77 37

Source: DWP estimates derived from the ONS ASHE, GB, 1997 to 2011

Table 2: Eligible employees participating in workplace pension saving by age band

  22-29 30-39 40-49 50-64
1997 51 66 70 66
1998 50 65 70 66
1999 50 65 70 66
2000 51 65 70 65
2001 50 65 70 65
2002 52 66 71 66
2003 51 64 70 66
2004 46 63 68 65
2005 43 61 68 65
2006 43 61 68 65
2007 41 59 66 65
2008 39 58 65 65
2009 39 57 64 64
2010 38 56 64 64
2011 36 55 63 63

Source: DWP estimates derived from the ONS ASHE, GB, 1997 to 2011

Table 3: Eligible employees participating in workplace pension schemes by gender

Male     Female        
  Private Public   Private Public  
1997 59 92 1997 49 85  
1998 58 92 1998 49 85  
1999 57 93 1999 50 87  
2000 56 92 2000 51 87  
2001 56 92 2001 51 88  
2002 59 90 2002 53 87  
2003 57 91 2003 52 88  
2004 55 91 2004 49 88  
2005 52 91 2005 46 87  
2006 52 91 2006 47 88  
2007 50 91 2007 45 88  
2008 49 91 2008 43 88  
2009 47 90 2009 42 88  
2010 46 90 2010 40 88  
2011 44 89 2011 39 88  

Source: DWP estimates derived from the ONS ASHE, GB, 1997 to 2011

Media Enquiries: 0203 267 5120
Out of hours: 07659 108883