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Numbers of Brits in Private Company Pensions Falls to Lowest Figures Since 1950s

07 July 2011

New figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that in 2009 the number of private sector workers with a company pension fell to its lowest figure since the 1950s.

The report shows that, in the private sector in 2010, 39% of men and 28% of women belong to an employer-sponsored pension scheme. This is a reduction compared to figures in 1997 when 52% of men and 37% of women had private pension schemes. The report shows that workers in the public sector are much more likely to pay into a pension scheme, with 87% of male employees and 82% of female employees belonging to a work related pension plan in 2010.

Pension membership figures for self-employed people are also well below membership numbers for public sector workers. The ONS' General Lifestyle Survey shows that just 38% of full-time self-employed men belonged to a pension scheme in 2009. Again this figure has reduced over time, with 64% belonging to a pension scheme back in 1998/99.

Further inequality can be seen in the number of employees on lower incomes who belong to a pension scheme. Employees lower down on the wage ladder are much less likely to join a pension scheme than higher paid workers. In 2010, only 16% of men and 27% of female full-time employees earning less than £300 per week belonged to a pension scheme.

The figures highlight a worrying number of people who are relying on the state pension to fund their retirement years. The basic state pension currently brings in just over £100 a week, with many not eligible for this full amount. Without a private pension, many will face a bleak retirement or be forced to work until they drop.

One option for people without a private pension and looking to boost their retirement finances is equity release. Equity release allows you to raise funds from your house which can be taken in a tax-free cash lump sum. This cash can be used for whatever you wish, including topping up a low retirement income.
If you are a homeowner aged between 55 and 95 call our UK based call centre on 0800 531 6027 to arrange your free no-obligation initial consultation. Lines are open Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm. We offer independent advice and will explain the pros and cons of equity release including how all plans reduce the value of your estate and how equity release can affect entitlement to benefits.

This is an equity release plan. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration.
Key's typical fee is 1.65% of the amount released, payable only on completion of a plan.