Pensions are booming: pension participation at all-time 64 year high

Today’s ONS Occupational Pension Schemes Survey* reports that total membership of occupational pension schemes in the UK is now at an all-time high.

Total membership of occupational pension schemes in the UK was 39.2 million in 2016. This includes active members, pensioner members, and members with preserved benefits.

Commenting on this new, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement for Aviva said:

“This is a great day for savers in the UK. After years of decline, the policy of automatic enrolment has re-invented pension saving. Saving for our future has now become the norm for employees in the UK. This is good news for savers and good news for the UK.

“Today’s report however contains a serious warning. The numbers of savers is rising, but the amount we save is not keeping up. The latest figures show that the average contribution rate by an employee into the dominant “defined contribution” pension arrangements has fallen to an all-time low of just 1% of pensionable earnings. At this level of saving, most people will fail to achieve the income they desire in retirement.

“Aviva calls for the auto-enrolment minimum contributions to be increased to 12.5% by 2028.

“More savers is fantastic, but more saving is needed if we are to avoid deep disappointment in years to come.”


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Notes to editors:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £450 billion.
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
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