The percentage of private sector employees in a workplace pension scheme increased from 26% in 2011 to 35% in 2013 according to research commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Employers Pension Provision survey shows that at the time of the research, 2% of private sector businesses had passed their staging dates. These firms accounted for 32% of all private sector employees.

The key findings are below:

  • 65% of staged employers already had a workplace pension scheme set up when the reforms were passed
  • Of these, 94% retained their schemes after staging and 92% did not change their contribution rates
  • 12% of firms that had not yet reached their staging date already had members on a workplace scheme
  • 59% of these expected to retain their current scheme

The report found that amongst employers yet to pass their staging dates, many did not have a workplace pension scheme in place and a sizeable portion were uncertain about their plans.

Opt out rates were also lower than predicted by the Government, at between 9 and 10%.