Press release

Pension saving at record high

Britain now has the highest level of pension saving since records began in 1997.

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

Workplace pensions - we're all in

Pension membership is rising across all age groups, according to new data published today by the Office for National Statistics.

The figures underline the success of automatic enrolment – where workers are automatically put into a pension scheme – in rebuilding Britain’s saving culture. To date, the scheme has seen more than 5 million workers brought into a pension scheme, saving more or saving for the first time.

Today’s Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings statistics, which reflect the picture in 2014, show:

  • 59% of all workers are active members of a pension scheme – up from 47% in 2012
  • 49% of private sector employees are active members of a pension scheme – up from 32% in 2012
  • pension membership has risen across all age groups, the largest increase being in the 22 to 29 age group, up to 53% from 36% in 2013
  • pension membership has increased for every earnings band in the private sector for full-time employees.
Proportion of employees with workplace pensions

Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, said:

The rise in the proportion of people saving for retirement over the past 3 years is stunning. Pension saving is now at its highest level since records began.

This is due in no small part to the success of automatic enrolment which is changing the culture of pension saving in Britain. Millions more people are now saving into a workplace pension, allowing them to build a decent nest egg to enjoy in their retirement, on top of a reinvigorated new State Pension.

Across the country, all regions saw at least a 10 percentage point increase in pensions membership amongst private sector workers:

  • membership was highest in the London area (56%)
  • the north-east saw the largest increase in private pension membership from 33% in 2013 up to 51%
  • the south-west had the smallest increase of 11 percentage points, up to 46% in 2014

Percentages of employees with workplace pensions: by region (UK)

Region or country 2013 2014
North-east 51.4 61.8
North-west 49.4 58.5
Yorkshire and The Humber 49.4 58.3
East Midlands 46.7 57.2
West Midlands 47.2 57.4
East 46.9 56.3
London 52.5 63.2
South-east 49.7 58.6
South-west 48.1 56.7
Wales 53.0 61.7
Scotland 55.3 64.0

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics

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Published 26 February 2015