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Friday 21st of January 2011
May 28, 2009    

Lower-paid workers less likely to belong to pension scheme

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by Kay Murchie
Lower-paid workers less likely to belong to pension scheme

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that employees in the UK on a low income are less likely to belong to a pension scheme than higher-paid employees.

According to the ONS, one fifth of men and almost a third of women with an income of less than £300 a week belonged to employer-sponsored pension schemes.

The reason more women belonged to schemes was due, in part, to the fact that membership was high in the public sector, where women were more likely to be employed.

Meanwhile, in comparison, 76% of men and 82% of women with gross weekly earnings of £600 or more were in an employer-sponsored pension scheme.

According to research by the Association of British Insurers, many people are shunning pension schemes as a result of the current economic uncertainty and stock market volatility.

Furthermore, many are not saving towards their retirement because of a lack of funds with no disposable income left when mortgage/rent, bills and debts have been paid.

In a bid to encourage Brits to save towards a pension, the Government is to introduce Personal Accounts in 2012 which will be a state-sponsored pension arrangement

Employees will be enrolled automatically, contributing 4% of their salary. The employer will pay 3% and a further 1% will come from tax relief.

Today’s figures from the ONS come just a few days after a survey commissioned by the BBC revealed that saving for a pension is not a top priority for many UK adults.

The report revealed that half of adults in the UK aged between 20 and 60 are not putting anything towards a pension with the situation being worst for those under the age of 30.

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