The workplace pension participation rate in the UK was at 79% (22.6 million employees) in April 2021, up slightly from 78% in 2020; a growth partly explained by increased public sector employment driven by the government's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In April 2021, the gap in employee workplace pension participation rates between the public (91%) and private sectors (75%) was among its lowest levels, mainly driven by increased participation in the private sector up from 32% in 2012.
Employee participation in workplace pensions reflects the automatic enrolment (AE) age (aged 22 to 65 years) eligibility; in April 2021, around 8 in 10 eligible employees had a pension compared with 2 in 10 employees aged 16 to 21 years, and 4 in 10 aged 65 years and over.
Annual estimates of the proportion of UK employees in each pension type and contracted-out status (prior to 2016), by Standard Industrial Classification (including public and private sector breakdown) and gross weekly earnings bands.
Annual estimates of the proportion of UK employees in employee contribution bands, by Standard Industrial Classification (including public and private sector breakdown) and by contracted-out status (prior to 2016) and pension type.
The latest information on membership and contributions, by contracted out status, is presented for private sector defined benefit occupational schemes. The story focuses on 2013, but also provides active membership details for 2008 to 2013 inclusive.