Amongst all the noise about the changes to how you can get money out of your pension scheme it is easy to forget about the more pressing issue of getting money in.

Recent Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures about the progress of pension scheme membership during 2013 under auto enrolment show how far the type of pension scheme and size of your pension pot depends upon the size of the organisation you work for.

type of scheme by size

Of course the auto enrolment staging dates have not yet dragged in the smaller workforces.

Size of workforce Staging date range for size of workforce
100,000 or more 1 October 2012 – 1 November 2012
10,000 – 99,999 1 November 2012 – 1 March 2013
1,000 – 9,999 1 April 2013 – 1 October 2013
500 – 999 1 October 2013 – 1 November 2013
100 – 499 1 January 2014 – 1 June 2014
13 – 99 1 March 2014 – 1 September 2016
1 – 12 1 March 2014 – 1 September 2016

So, by the end of 2013 when these statistics were collated, auto enrolment had only arrived for workforces with 500 or more members. But the scale of the task auto enrolment has to tackle is clear. The proportion of employees with no pension at all is 89.6%, 74.6% and 55.7% for workforces of 1-12, 13-99 and 100-499 respectively. These smaller workforces are also very unlikely to have any form of defined benefit membership in their schemes (1.6%, 5.3% and 16.2% respectively).

employer conts by size

When it comes to contributions, the most popular contribution range is 4-8% for all but the 1,000 plus organisations (for which a third are in the 12-15% range). It will be interesting to see the impact on this of the increases to minimum contribution rates when they come in.

Perhaps not having to buy an annuity will encourage more people not to opt out even when the contribution rates start to rise. I certainly hope so because, when it comes to pensions, it is not what you do with it that really counts.

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