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Occupational Pensions

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of members of defined-benefit occupational pension schemes in each year since 1997. (203264)

The Government are committed to supporting existing high quality occupational pension provision. That is why we commissioned a rolling deregulatory review to look at how the private pensions regulatory framework can be made simpler and less burdensome. The decline in membership of defined benefit schemes is a long-term trend and is due to a number of complex factors.

Information on membership of defined benefit occupational pension schemes is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is presented in the following table:

Estimates of the numbers of active members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes, by year

Active members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes (million)

1991

9.7

1995

9.2

2000

9.0

2004

8.6

2006

8.5

Notes: 1. Pension scheme membership figures were taken from the Occupational Pension Scheme Survey. Data for years 1991, 1995, 2000 and 2004 were produced by the Government Actuary's Department (GAD). Data for 2006 were produced by the Office for National Statistics. 2006 is the latest year published. The coverage of the survey is the UK. 2. Figures presented are totals for private and public sector defined benefit occupational pension scheme membership. 3. Active members are current employees who would normally contribute (or have contributions made on their behalf) to the pension scheme. 4. To be eligible for membership of an occupational pension scheme, including defined benefit schemes, a person must be an employee working for an employer offering such a scheme.