Auto-enrolment is proving to be a continuing success as a record number of employed workers saved into a workplace pension last year, but there are concerns about the self-employed.
Data released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed a record 88 per cent of eligible employees saved into a workplace pension in 2019, up from 87 per cent in 2018.
This means 19.2m people were paying into a workplace scheme last year, an increase of 2.6 per cent from 18.7m individuals in 2018.
The data also showed the total amount saved in workplace pensions in 2019 was £98.4bn, up 5.7 per cent from the £93.1bn saved in 2018.
However, self-employed workers have seen a decline in participation rates from 21 per cent in 2009/10 to 14 per cent in 2018/19.
Laura Stewart-Smith, workplace savings manager at Aviva, said that while the numbers showed participation in workplace schemes was growing in popularity, it was important providers and the government continued to encourage people to save.
Ms Stewart-Smith said: “The UK’s economic outlook is challenging, but it is important that people don’t lose sight of savings goals. A workplace pension scheme can provide greater certainty as it ensures individuals are continuously investing in their future, with the added benefit of tax relief and an employer contribution.
“Over time, this may build up a sizeable pension pot which could help support people in achieving the lifestyle they aspire to in retirement.”
According to the DWP, those earning between £50,000 and £60,000 showed the highest participation levels, with 93 per cent of eligible employees within this earnings band paying into a workplace pension last year.
Those aged 40 to 49 were most likely to save into a scheme whereas those aged 22 to 29 were most likely to opt out.