Pension funds commented on data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows that in 2012 workplace pension membership fell to its lowest level since 1997.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said:
“Workplace pensions cannot be left to fade away. This is a real low point for pension saving, and it underlines the importance of new rules to automatically put all workers into a pension.
“We have hit this trough largely because final salary pensions in the private sector closed at a record rate last year. For many pension funds the problems created by quantitative easing will have been a factor behind the decision to close.
“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. People simply will not be able to retire in comfort, and will lean more heavily on the state.
“We hope that this is the worst things will get. Millions will be automatically put into a pension in the coming years, so the only way is up. Auto-enrolment is a great opportunity to turn the situation around and get more people saving for their retirement.”
Notes to editors:
1. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.
Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]
Christian Zarro, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]