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17 Sep 2012

Auto-Enrolment To Spark Interest In Industries Lacking Adequate Pension Access

Industries that previously did not provide adequate workplace pensions are expected to see a rise in interest after automatic enrolment, due to begin in October, becomes compulsory, according to a study by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The research listed the industries where at present employees are least likely to have an employer-sponsored pension. According to the DWP, the agriculture and fishing industries had the lowest level of workers saving for a pension at 19%, followed by the hotel and restaurant sector with 28% and the construction industry where 33% of workers are saving for a pension.

Meanwhile, gas fitters, electricians and plumbers are among the workers with the highest level of savings, with 66% of them putting money aside. However, the energy and water sector has seen the steepest drop in pension saving over the past 15 years, falling 20% from 86% previously.

The distribution, hotel and restaurant industries have also seen pension savings fall, to 28% from 46% in 1997. Even saving in the financial services industry has declined over the period, with 44% of employees in the banking, finance and insurance sector currently saving, down from 58% previously.

The DWP also announced the results of its consultation into thresholds for 2013-14, in which it proposed the auto-enrolment trigger to be aligned with personal tax allowance so that more workers are encouraged to take up workplace pensions.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said that the number of workers missing out on pensions is too high, especially for people on low to moderate incomes who needed those savings the most.

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