Number saving for retirement still declining

THE NUMBER of people actively saving in pension schemes is still falling according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), down by 400,000 in the year to 2012.

In 2011, there were 8.2m active members of an occupational pension scheme in the UK, dropping down to 7.8m in 2012.

The number of contributors has slipped over many years, down from nine million in 2008, and 12.2m in 1967, the peak year by number of contributors.

The decline in contributors is most acute in the private sector, where the decline has been rapid. In 2012, there were only 2.7m contributors, against 6.5m just over two decades earlier in 1991.

In comparison, the number of public sector contributors has actually increased, up from 4.2m to 5.1m over the same period.

As recently as the year 2000, there were still more people active in private sector pension schemes than the public sector equivalent.

However, the number of members with preserve pension entitlements has continued to rise, up by 400,000 in the year to 2012. Since 1991, the number has more than doubled, up from 4.5m to 10.2m.