DC scheme contributions rise to £6.5bn in 2018

Defined contribution pension scheme contributions totalled £6.5bn in 2018, a 22 per cent increase from 2017, according to new data from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Its annual report, DC Trust, also found that £60bn has now been saved into DC schemes, with membership at 16.8 million people.

This represents a 25 per cent increase in assets, while membership increased by 33 per cent over the last year, and by more than 640 per cent since the start of 2010.

The rise in master trust membership, from 10 million savers in 2017 to 13.4 million in 2018, was a major factor for this increase.

Average assets per membership at retirement also increased, from £9,000 to £9,800, and the study found that 99 per cent of DC scheme members were invested in the scheme’s default strategy.

TPR also revealed that the number of schemes using a default investment strategy increased slightly from 2017, to 52 per cent, with 73 per cent of open schemes using a default strategy.

Around 90 per cent of private sector active savers are investing into a DC scheme. However, the number of DC schemes with 12 or more members has declined by 56 per cent since 2010, to 2,010.

The total amount transferred in to DC schemes increased by almost 150 per cent in 2018, from £2bn to almost £5bn. This includes transfers from DB schemes and also from other DC schemes.

Commenting, TPR executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, David Fairs said: “Overall it is a picture of a growing market, driven by automatic enrolment and a new culture of saving into a workplace pension.

“Regardless of the trends, our role to make sure savers’ money is protected and pension schemes are offering value for money for their members remains vital.

“These figures are yet another reminder about what is at stake if schemes are not run well – people’s livelihoods which could be at risk.

“We continue to encourage trustees, particularly those running smaller schemes which are struggling to meet the standards of governance which we expect, to seriously consider if they are doing the best for their members.

“Winding up and moving members into a better run scheme, such as an authorised master trust, may in some cases be the better option.”

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