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Executive summary

Introduction

This year’s statistics release is in a different format to previous versions. In July 2009 and October 2010 the regulator released a single document (PDF format) containing charts and tables of information relating to trust-based DC schemes. This year we have taken a different approach, releasing the figures in a CSV format making the data more accessible for end users. By providing the raw data in a format which can be imported into most statistical analytics packages, it enables formatting and representation in the most appropriate way.

This release provides a textual description of the collection methods for the data it contains, together with instructive information on what is covered by each of the different tables.

The landscape

The table below represents the private pension landscape in the UK, showing at a high level the different forms of employer-sponsored provision available within the private sector, and giving an overview of the size of each.

This statistics release focuses on the areas marked as DC (trust) and hybrid dual-section. There are many varieties of hybrid scheme, but they can broadly be classed as either mixed benefit or dual-section. A mixed-benefit scheme is one offering one set of benefits which has elements of both DB and DC, such as a DC scheme with a guaranteed minimum payment (GMP) underpin. A dual-section scheme has two sections, one offering DC benefits and the other offering DB benefits.

  Defined benefit Hybrid mixed-benefit Hybrid dual-section DC (trust) DC (workplace contract)
Schemes 6,070 590 1,150 44,000 1,500
Open schemes 1,030 100 610 33,000 1,300
Total memberships 8,178,000 1,139,000 4,820,000 1,471,000 unknown
Total active members 1,626,000 209,000 968,000 625,000 3,000,000*
Total DB memberships 8,178,000 Not applicable 3,640,000 Not applicable Not applicable
Active DB members 1,626,000 Not applicable 438,000 Not applicable Not applicable
Total DC memberships Not applicable Not applicable 981,000 1,471,000 unknown
Active DC members Not applicable Not applicable 456,000 625,000 3,000,000*

(Sources: Internal TPR data, 01/08/11, ASHE* 20101)

1Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics: rounded estimate of number of jobs where employee has taken up a workplace group personal or group stakeholder pension. This excludes individual personal pensions.

Excluded from this analysis are DC work-based personal pensions (referred to as contract-based schemes). DC contract-based schemes, made up of group personal pensions (GPPs) and group stakeholder pensions (GSHPs), are subject to a different regulatory framework from DC trust-based schemes. The regulator works jointly with the Financial Services Authority (succeeded by the the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority on 1 April 2013) in the regulation of work-based personal pensions (GPPs and GSHPs). Individual personal pensions sit outside of the remit of the regulator. Therefore, all types of DC contract-based provision, both group and individual, are outside of the scope of this statistics release.

The first four sections of this statistics release refer to occupational trust-based DC schemes with 12 or more memberships. These schemes account for 9% of the total number of schemes, but more than 95% of the memberships. Section 5 is concerned with micro schemes (2 to 11 memberships), and section 6 looks at the largest 100 schemes by total membership.

Section 7 includes tables giving information on the effective dates for data submitted on memberships and contributions. For membership data, 87% of schemes have an effective date for the information after 01/01/2009 (94% had an effective date after 01/01/08 last year) and this represents 96% (98%) of members. For contribution data 79% (86%) of relevant schemes (those which are either open or closed, have 12 or more members and are not hybrid) have provided information whose effective date is 01/01/09 or later, and this covers 87% (88%) of members.

Data collection

Pension schemes in the UK with two or more memberships are required to register with the regulator. At the point of registration, an occupational scheme provides their scheme name and contact details, their scheme status, membership information, and details about their employer(s), trustees and advisers.

In addition, the regulator operates a scheme return process. This is a statutory requirement, in the Pensions Act 2004. It is the principal means for the regulator to collect up-to-date information in regard to occupational pension schemes. The regulator operates a phased approach to the DC scheme return, with schemes of 12 or more members completing annually and schemes with 2 to 11 members completing triennially. The regulator operates a web-based return. The web-based return offers several advantages, one of which is that schemes can log in to alter their details at any time (the scheme maintenance process). Scheme return notices are still sent to schemes annually or triennially as a reminder to update their details.

The scheme return requests further information for occupational trust-based DC schemes with 12 or more memberships, such as total annual contributions over the last year. For more information regarding the regulator’s scheme return, visit our website and view Trustee guidance

The size of the data set used in this analysis varies per section depending on the number of schemes which have supplied the information. Therefore, the data presented will often be a subset of the overall landscape. The size of this subset is shown as the base for each table.

Changes from last year

In addition to our change of format there is some new content included in this year’s statistics release. In the 2010 pdf version tables were included showing how many members are aged 50 to 59, and aged over 60. This year, in addition, there are also tables showing how many schemes have members aged 50 to 59, and 60 and over.

Further, in last year’s publication data was presented regarding the schemes governance structure. There are some schemes for which the governance structure cannot be determined from the information held by the regulator. Previously these schemes were excluded from the figures, now they are included and labelled as ’unclassified’.

 

Definitions

Scheme status

Status Open Closed Paid up (frozen) Winding up
Description
  • New memberships are allowed to join the scheme
  • Existing memberships are allowed to continue contributing
  • Funds continue to be invested
  • Funds continue to attract charges
  • New memberships are not allowed to join the scheme
  • Existing memberships are allowed to continue contributing
  • Funds continue to be invested
  • Funds continue to attract charges
  • New memberships are not allowed to join the scheme
  • Existing memberships are not allowed to make contributions
  • Funds continue to be invested
  • Funds continue to attract charges
  • Fund has begun the process of closing down
  • New memberships are not allowed to join the scheme
  • Existing memberships are not allowed to make contributions
  • Funds continue to be invested
  • Funds continue to attract charges

Governance structure

Governance structure Multiple non-associated employers Industry wide trust scheme Bundled scheme Unbundled scheme
Description Custody arrangement whereby a provider operating a trust manages pension fund assets for a group of unrelated companies (employers) under a single trustee account A multi employer trust scheme which is only offered to employers within a specific industry A scheme, the majority of whose services are provided via a single provider A scheme, whose services are provided via multiple service providers

Member status

Status Active Deferred Pensioner
Description
  • A scheme member who is currently paying in contributions
  • Funds continue to be invested
  • Funds continue to attract charges
  • A scheme member who has in the past, but is no longer, paying in contributions
  • Funds continue to be invested
  • Funds continue to attract charges
  • A scheme member who has entered the decumulation phase of their pension
  • An annuity has been purchased on their behalf in the name of the trustees of the scheme. (If the annuity is purchased in the name of the member, then that member ceases to be a part of the scheme)
  • The annuitised pot is not invested, and does not attract ongoing charges

Tables: data

This year's statistical release for the DC landscape is divided into seven sections, each with a list of tables in CSV format. The data from each table can be imported into most statistical analytics packages, making it more accessible for end users.

1: Scheme demographics

Information shown in these tables is required to be provided by schemes at the point of registration and then updated annually via the scheme maintenance process. Data shown here represents data held by the regulator as at 01/09/11.

1.1 Total number of schemes year on year 
Base: (Not applicable), effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
The number of schemes has decreased by 67% since the peak in 1996.

1.2 Schemes by scheme size 
Base: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
63% of schemes have 12 to 99 members.

1.3 Schemes by scheme status 
Base: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
52% of schemes are open to members, and 72% are open to contributions. 

1.4 Schemes by year established
Base: Schemes: 10,000, memberships: 1,921,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships established after 01/01/8
** Indicates figures are disclosive
Of the schemes shown here, 35% were established in 1988.

1.5 Schemes by year completed wind up 
Base: Schemes: 10,330, memberships: 712,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships which completed wind up after 01/01/1997
The number of schemes completing wind up has decreased by 82% since 1998

1.6 Schemes by scheme governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
** Indicates figures are disclosive
29% of schemes are unbundled

1.7 Schemes with members aged 50 to 59 by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 2,140, memberships: 233,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships and members aged 50 to 59
Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
52% of schemes have members aged 50 to 59.

1.8 Schemes with members aged 60 or over by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 1,770, memberships: 58,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships and members aged 60 or over
Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
43% of schemes have members aged over 60

 

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

2: Membership demographics

Information shown in these tables is required to be provided by schemes at the point of registration and then updated annually via the scheme maintenance process. Data shown here represents data held by the regulator as at 01/09/11. Information relating to the effective date of information received is available in section 7.

2.1 Memberships by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
48% of memberships are in schemes with more than 10,000 memberships.

2.2 Memberships by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
72% of memberships are in open schemes.

2.3 Memberships by scheme governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
30% of memberships are in unbundled schemes.

2.4 Active members by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 2,600, memberships: 1,026,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
Excludes schemes with no active members
Active members constitute 43% of total memberships

2.5 Deferred memberships by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 3,590, memberships: 1,252,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
Excludes schemes with no deferred members
49% of deferred members are in schemes with 10000 or more members

2.6 Memberships aged 50 to 59 by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 2,140, memberships: 233,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships and members aged 50 to 59
Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Of members aged between 50 and 59 70% are in open schemes.

2.7 Memberships aged 60 or over by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 1,770, memberships: 58,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships and members aged 60 or over
Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Of members aged 60 or over 68% are in open schemes.

 

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

3: Contributions

Information shown in these tables is not required to be provided by schemes at the point of registration but is provided annually via the scheme maintenance process. Data shown here represents data held by the regulator as at 01/09/11. Information relating to the effective date of information received is available in section 7. These tables exclude hybrid schemes with DC memberships as contribution information is not requested from them.

3.1 Average annual contributions by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 1,660, Memberships: 1,131,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Average annual contributions are highest in schemes with 100 to 999 members.

3.2 Total annual contributions by scheme size 
Base: Schemes: 1,660, Memberships: 1,131,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Total contributions calculated by extrapolating averages for each size group against total active members in each size group
Employers contribute 77% of total contributions

3.3 Average annual contributions by governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 1,660, Memberships: 1,131,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Annual contributions are highest in unbundled schemes

3.4 Total annual contributions by governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 1,660, Memberships: 1,131,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Excludes Hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Total contributions calculated by extrapolating averages for each size group against total active members in each size group
Total contributions are highest in unbundled schemes.

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

4: Employers

Information shown in these tables is required to be provided by schemes at the point of registration and then updated annually via the scheme maintenance process. An employer can offer more than one scheme, and as such these figures could include double counting. The effective date for information contained in these tables 01/09/11.

4.1 Employers by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
Whilst an employer is attached to an open scheme, that does not mean the employer is still enrolling employees in that scheme.
For hybrid schemes not all employers will be enrolling members in the DC section.
94% of employers are attached to open schemes. 

4.2 Employers by scheme size
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
Excludes schemes which have not provided information regarding their employers
79% of employers are attached to schemes with 10,000 or more memberships

4.3 Employers by governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 4,110, memberships: 2,379,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes schemes with 12 or more DC memberships
Excludes schemes which have not provided information regarding their employers
75% of employers are in Multi employer schemes with non-associated employers

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

5: Micro schemes (fewer than 12 members)

Information shown in these tables is required to be provided by schemes at the point of registration and then updated triennially via the scheme maintenance process. The effective date for information contained in these tables 01/09/11.

5.1 Micro schemes by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 41,300, Memberships: 119,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with between 2 and 11 DC memberships.
** Indicates figures are disclosive
77% of micro schemes are open

5.2 Micro scheme memberships by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 41,300, Memberships: 119,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with between 2 and 11 DC memberships.
76% of memberships of micro schemes are in open schemes

5.3 Micro schemes by year established 
Base: Schemes: 30,000, Memberships: 81,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with 2 to 11 DC memberships established after 01/01/1988
** Indicates figures are disclosive
The number of scheme registrations has dropped by 83% since 1997.

5.4 Micro schemes by year wound up 
Base: Schemes: 39,830, Memberships: 128,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes all schemes with between 2 and 11 DC memberships which completed wind up after 01/01/1997
The number of scheme wind ups has decreased by 64% since 1997.

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

6: Very large schemes (100 largest schemes by membership)

Information shown in these tables is required to be provided by schemes at the point of registration and then updated annually via the scheme maintenance process. The effective date for information contained in these tables 01/09/11.

6.1 Very large schemes by status 
Base: Schemes: 100, Memberships: 1,103,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes the 100 largest schemes by number of DC memberships.
** Indicates figures are disclosive
73% of very large schemes are open

6.2 Very large schemes by governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 100, Memberships: 1,103,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes the 100 largest schemes by number of DC memberships.
Excludes schemes which have not provided information regarding their intermediaries
** Indicates figures are disclosive
38% of very large schemes are unbundled.

6.3 Very large scheme memberships by scheme status 
Base: Schemes: 100, Memberships: 1,103,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes the 100 largest schemes by number of DC memberships.
74% of memberships of very large schemes are in open schemes

6.4 Very large scheme memberships by scheme governance structure 
Base: Schemes: 100, Memberships: 1,103,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Includes the 100 largest schemes by number of DC memberships.
26% memberships of very large schemes are in unbundled schemes

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

7: Effective date information

Information in these tables is provided to give greater context to information provided in previous tables. As previously discussed, whilst the data shown represents the data held by the regulator as at 01/08/11, this data has differing effective dates. This section gives a detailed account of these effective dates.

7.1 Membership information effective dates (by schemes) 
Base: Schemes: 3,830, Memberships: 2,351,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Shows the effective date for information received from schemes with 12 or more DC memberships by the regulator regarding number of memberships where that effective date is later than 01/01/07
** Indicates figures are disclosive

7.2 Membership information effective dates (by memberships) 
Base: Schemes: 3,830, Memberships: 2,351,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Shows the effective date for information received from schemes with 12 or more DC memberships by the regulator regarding number of memberships where that effective date is later than 01/01/07
** Indicates figures are disclosive

7.3 Membership information effective date for small schemes (by schemes) 
Base: Schemes: 38,870, Memberships: 111,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Shows the effective date for information received from schemes with between 2 and 11 DC memberships by the regulator regarding number of memberships where that effective date is later than 01/01/04
** Indicates figures are disclosive

7.4 Membership information effective dates for small schemes (by memberships) 
Base: Schemes: 38,870, Memberships: 111,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Shows the effective date for information received from schemes with between 2 and 11 DC memberships by the regulator regarding number of memberships where that effective date is later than 01/01/04
** Indicates figures are disclosive

7.5 Contribution information effective dates (by schemes) 
Base: Schemes: 1,660, Memberships: 1,131,000effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Excludes schemes with a contribution effective date before 01/01/07
Excludes hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Excludes schemes which have not provided contribution information
** Indicates figures are disclosive

7.6 Contribution information effective dates (by memberships) 
Base: Schemes: 1,660, Memberships: 1,131,000, effective date: 01/09/11
Notes: Excludes schemes with a contribution effective date before 01/01/07
Excludes hybrid schemes with DC memberships
Excludes schemes which have not provided contribution information
** Indicates figures are disclosive

NOTE

All data is provided in CSV file format and can be imported into statistical analytics packages

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