ONS figures reveal a 15-year low for workplace retirement saving

POSTED: 25th February 2013
IN: Personal News

Putting money aside for the future is paramount for ensuring you can afford a mortgage, financial protection and a comfortable retirement.

So, it is perhaps worrying that the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have demonstrated a 15-year low for workplace retirement saving.

The data showed just 28 per cent of employees had a defined benefit occupational pension in 2012 - compared to 46 per cent in 1997.

According to the results, 83 per cent of public sector employees had a workplace pension scheme last year, as well as 32 per cent of private sector employees.

Although there is plenty of room for growth in the number of people saving for retirement, the research suggested some people are investing more in their pensions.

As the ONS said, the number of employees in the public sector contributing seven per cent or more of their pensionable earnings rose from 11 per cent in 2011 to 37 per cent last year.

Commenting on the results, Prudential's retirement expert Stan Russell said: "The numbers taking place in workplace retirement saving has hit a 15-year low, with less than half of employees joining their company schemes.

"This failure to prepare for retirement doesn't just affect employees. A recent Prudential study found that 46 per cent of self-employed workers have no private pension savings, which must be addressed as the number of self-employed workers continues to rise."

Mr Russell pointed out that a low rate taxpayer will receive an additional £1.25 on every £1 they invest in a company pension scheme, with that sum increasing to £1.67 for high rate taxpayers.

And for savers that want access to funds sooner than retirement, there is the option of an individual savings account (Isa), which protects their pots from the taxman.

People have up until April 5th to make full use of this year's Isa allowance, so stepping up saving in the final four weeks could really boost their pot.   

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