UK Stats Highlight Shift from DB to DC

March 1, 2010 ( - New figures from the UK's Office for National Statistics show a continuing decline in the proportion of private-sector employees saving in workplace pensions.

Human Resources reports that according to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 35% of private- sector employees were active members of workplace pension schemes in 2009, down from 37% in 2008. In 1999, 45% of private-sector employees were in a workplace pension scheme, the news report said.

The survey also found just 12% of private-sector employers were building up new DB pension entitlements in 2009, down from 14% in 2008. Ten years earlier, the proportion of private-sector employees in DB schemes was 30%.

In contrast, 80% of public sector employees were active members of DB schemes in 2009, according to the survey data.

“This has been a decade of decline for private-sector pension provision: more people either work for employers that do not offer pensions or fail to join the schemes available,” commented Mark Duke, senior consultant at Towers Watson, in the news report. “Staff turnover is eroding the number of employees in DB schemes that no longer admit new members, and large deficits have persuaded more companies to force the pace of change by closing their schemes to existing members too.”