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Occupational Pensions

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many occupational pension schemes have been fully wound up since 1997; how many are in the process of winding up; and what the size of the membership of schemes in each such category was in each year since 1997. (283547)

In 2008, there were a total of over 27 million members in occupational pensions schemes. Government are committed to helping scheme sponsors through this difficult time. We will continue to work with employers and the pensions industry to see how we can help. We are also taking forward reforms which will extend the opportunity of workplace pension saving to millions, many for the first time. From 2012 all eligible workers will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme resulting in between six to nine million people newly participating or saving more in workplace pensions.

Information is not available in the format requested. The available information is presented as follows and was provided by the Pensions Regulator:

(a) The number of schemes in the UK that have wound up for a variety of reasons since 2 April 1997 is 99,589 (8,484 defined benefit and 91,105 defined contribution).

(b) The number of schemes that have entered winding up status since 2 April 1997 and have not yet completed the process is 7,238 (1,094 defined benefit and 6,144 defined contribution). The total membership of these schemes is 325,586 (219,708 defined benefit and 105,878 defined contribution).


1. The data supplied by the Pensions Regulator are current as at 4 November 2009. They have been enhanced and updated with information received via the new scheme returns, which includes new data for small defined contribution schemes.

2. A wound up scheme is one which has notified the Pensions Regulator that it has completed winding up procedures. In some cases schemes notify the Pensions Regulator that they have completed winding up procedures without having previously notified the Regulator that they have commenced winding up procedures.

3. A winding up scheme is one which has notified the Pensions Regulator that it has commenced winding up procedures.

4. Total membership includes deferred and pensioner members. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of these numbers.