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Pension scheme membership falls to 15-year low

by Brian Cantwell on Feb 22, 2013 at 14:37

Pension scheme membership falls to 15-year low

Membership of workplace pension schemes has dropped the lowest level in 15 years, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS figures show that membership has dropped to just 46%, with the level of membership in the private sector even lower, at 32%. Within the public sector membership stands at 83%.

Pensions minister Steve Webb (pictured) said the figure showed the need for the government’s auto-enrolment reforms.

‘The scale of the challenge is clear. Too few people are saving for their retirement, which is why our pension reforms are so crucial,’ he said.

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said the closure of defined benefit schemes within the private sector was responsible for most of the drop.

‘For many pension funds the problems created by quantitative easing will have been a factor behind the decision to close,’ she said.

‘It is unnerving and unsustainable that only a third of the private sector workforce is saving into a pension. This is storing up huge problems for our society.’

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

A Childs View

Feb 22, 2013 at 15:44

No no no no no. Constant tinkering, TFC under threat and the final gamble of annuity rate v drawdown depletion after years of thriftiness....income from which is taxed again anyway. AE will simply see masses of empty boxes or small pots of pension rights. It won't solve anything. Retirement planning these days is about much more than pension contracts and needs to be. Pay the mortgage today or contribute into a pension? No contest for the vast majority. Lock your money away for an uncertain future gamble or retain some flexibility? Again, no contest for the financially continent. Have a pension, yes, but only as a part of a broader plan. 4/5 year election terms for here today gone tomorrow politicians only interested in another term is not a structure that will ever see the challenges met.

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PracticeWhatWePreach via mobile

Feb 22, 2013 at 17:16

I work for a prestigious IFA consolidator - they don't contribute to any employee pension. The company is well respected but if they don't value their staff enough to contribute to a pension, why should non-FS firms do so? I have to wait until 2017 to get the minimum auto enrolement contribution.

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Feb 22, 2013 at 18:04

Never, in the field of human retirement planning, was so much destruction done, by so few, to so many people....

The curious thing is that so many (on both sides of the political divide) simply don't get it...

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Nom de plum via mobile

Feb 22, 2013 at 21:26

@A Childs View.

Talking lots of sense.

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 26, 2013 at 16:32

So who is going to SELL these pensions as selling is what is needed to make sure people understand the importance,

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