Work and Pensions written question – answered on 16th January 2002.

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Photo of Jim Cousins Jim Cousins Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the percentage of employees in each decile of employee incomes who were not members of (a) occupational and (b) approved personal pension schemes as of 1 April.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister for pensions, Department for Work and Pensions

The information is not available in the format requested. The latest available data, drawn from the Family Resources Survey 1999–2000, are set out in the table.

All employees earning above the lower earnings limit (£66 per week in 1999–2000) are members of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) unless they contract out into a personal or occupational pension. Therefore "all" full-time employees and part-time employees above earning over the lower earnings limit (above decile four) are accruing pension rights in the SERPS and/or are members of a private pension.

Furthermore, for 18 million low and moderate earners, carers and the disabled the introduction of the state second pension will significantly increase the amount of state pension they will become entitled to. This will boost the retirement income of approximately 65 per cent. of current full-time employees (those in deciles one to seven) and almost all current part-time employees above decile four.

Percentage who are not contributing to:
Decile occupational pension personal pension either personal or occupational pension
Full-time workers
Lowest 86 93 79
2 71 89 61
3 62 87 50
4 54 84 40
5 48 86 35
6 42 84 28
7 35 84 22
8 28 85 16
9 25 84 12
Highest 25 81 11
Part-time workers
Lowest 90 98 88
2 93 95 89
3 91 95 87
4 86 95 81
5 78 94 72
6 74 94 68
7 64 92 57
8 51 91 43
9 46 92 40
Highest 39 90 31


1. Information is not recorded by the Family Resources Survey on those who have a pension scheme which they are not currently contributing to, nor which personal pension schemes are approved schemes. Therefore the figures show those not contributing to occupational or personal pensions.

2. The deciles are calculated separately for full and part-time workers, and are of gross earnings. The separation between full-time and part-time workers is to make clear the behavioural similarities that exist between those in same deciles on the full-time and part-time scale, but who would be in different deciles were the data combined, due to their differing earning levels.

3. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors that control for region, council tax band and a number of demographic variables. Estimates are subject to sampling error and to variability in non-response. The information covers Great Britain.


Family Resources Survey 1999–2000

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