16th October 2014
New Government figures show that automatic enrolment into company pensions schemes is continuing to play a major role in reversing the decade-long decline in private sector saving.
The statistics, from the Department for Work and Pensions show that there were 6.7m eligible workers in the private sector saving in a pension in 2013, up from 5.9m a year earlier.
And it is young people working in the private sector who showed the largest increase in the proportion saving into a pension, growing more than any other age group where 30% of those aged 22 to 29 saved in 2013 compared with 24% in 2012.
But growth in the number of pension savers was seen across all age groups, including those aged 50 to State Pension age.
The increase in the number of people saving is largely due to the government’s policy of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions which is currently being rolled out and has already affected over 4.7m workers.
Commenting on the numbers, Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: “Automatic enrolment is getting Britain saving and helping build a fairer society. Almost seven million people in the private sector are now saving, including many from low to middle income occupations who have never had their own workplace pension before.
And, surprisingly it is young people who are the age group leading the way with almost one in three of those in their 20s putting something by for their retirement. I hear too often that people wish they had started saving for their pension early, so I am delighted to find out that more young people are saving. The first figures on pension saving by region show increases across Scotland, Wales and all the English regions since 2012.
Scotland and the south-east of England have the highest percentage of people saving in the private sector – both 49%. The area with the biggest rise with a 6% increase is the south-west of England.
Other findings include: