14 Feb 2018

More money invested into defined contribution pension schemes

More money invested into defined contribution pension schemes

New figures released by The Pensions Regulator reveal that £5.4billion was put into defined contribution pension schemes in the UK last year - a jump of more than 21% year-on-year.

Defined contribution pensions build up a pension pot using your contributions and your employer’s contributions (if applicable) plus investment returns and tax relief.

TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes, and its annual DC trust report shows that a total of £48billion is now saved in DC pension schemes.

Memberships have increased to 12.6million people, up by 29% over the past year and by more than 400% since the start of 2010. Master trusts account for a major proportion of the increase and now account for 10 million DC savers.

Anthony Raymond, acting executive director for regulatory policy, analysis and advice at TPR, said: “The success of automatic enrolment has put DC schemes – and particularly master trusts – at the heart of pension saving in the UK, and our figures illustrate this trend.

"For these new and existing savers we have a role to protect their benefits, and so we are working hard to drive up standards of trusteeship. We are also implementing the Pension Schemes Act 2017, which requires master trusts to meet a clear set of standards in order to obtain authorisation from us to operate.

"We welcome the continued reduction in numbers of DC schemes. We have been concerned about a tail of sub-standard schemes, and have been encouraging trustees who cannot or will not meet the standards we expect to consider consolidation.”

Other key findings of the DC trust report:

  • 90% of people currently saving into a private sector pension are doing so into a DC scheme.
  • The reduction in the number of schemes continues. Since 2010 the number of schemes, not including micro or self-administered schemes, has reduced by 52% from 4,560 to 2,180.
  • Membership of master trusts has increased enormously from just 270,000 at the start of 2012.
  • As more people start saving into pension schemes for the first time, the average asset per membership has declined from £4,700 in 2016 to £3,900 in 2017.

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