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Fall in pension scheme uptake.

The proportion of people who belong to a company pension scheme has fallen by nearly a 10th during the past 12 years, official figures show.

Around 50 per cent of UK workers were members of an employer-sponsored pension scheme in 2009, down from 55 per cent in 1997, according to the Office for National Statistics.

There was also a steep drop in the number of people who belonged to defined benefit schemes, with this falling from 46 per cent to just 33 per cent during the period.

The fall is likely to have been driven by employers closing the schemes, which have become increasingly expensive to offer, and replacing them with less generous defined contribution ones.

But there was also a slight drop in the proportion of workers who belonged to defined contribution schemes, at 6 per cent, down from 9 per cent.

However, this fall was partially offset by a rise in the number of people who had an employer-sponsored personal pension, such as a stakeholders scheme, with membership of these rising from 1 per cent to 6 per cent during the period.

It is thought that during 2008, the latest period for which figures are available, around nine million people were active members of occupational pension schemes, 3.6 million of whom belonged to private sector ones, with the remaining 5.4 million belonging to schemes provided by public sector employers.

Unsurprisingly, the lower people's weekly earnings were, the less likely they were have a pension.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 20, 2010
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