Nearly half of all workers do not have any private pension savings, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
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The study looks at 2010-20132 and reveals 45% of men and 49% of women had no private pension savings.
The report profiles private pension savers and showed who pays into a private pension depends on age, wealth, education and the type of job someone does.
For example, 95% of workers in hotels and restaurants had no private pension, but just 93% of men and 91% of women working in public service contributed to a private pension.
However, a third of private sector workers, half the self-employed and 80% of people not working had no private pension savings.
Young workers less likely to save
A stark difference was also revealed 76% of women in routine jobs, like cleaners and bar staff, had no private pensions compared with only 15% of professionals, like lawyers and doctors,.
Households with a private pension had a median wealth of £160,000 compared to just £23,900 for those with no private pension savings.
“The common belief is most workers will want to improve their retirement by saving into a private pension to boost the money they receive from the government,” said an ONS spokesman.
“That’s why the government has a policy of trying to encourage workers to take out a pension with schemes like auto-enrolment.
“This survey looks at who has a private pension so policy makers can target their initiatives more successfully.”
The research showed that those aged closer to retirement were more likely to have a private pension – with the numbers dropping from 91% of men and 88% of women from 16 to 24 year old to 35% of men and 39% of women aged over 50 and approaching retirement.
The statistics also found workers earning less than £300 a week, without qualifications or not in work were less likely to have a private pension.
“Households without private pensions seemed to be generally poorer, with less property, cash and investments or other assets,” said the spokesman.
London was the region with lowest number of workers with private pensions (65%), but this may be because younger workers are attracted to the capital.
The South East was the region with the lowest number of workers without a private pension (20%).
Excluding the capital, workers in the Midlands or North were less likely to have a private pension than those in the South.
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