A growing number of participants in UK defined contribution (DC) trust schemes are joining existing schemes or a small number of newer schemes, according to data from the Pensions Regulator (TPR).

In its annual market update, TPR said only five additional DC-trust schemes, with 12 members or more, were registered in 2013.

However, the total number of members within these schemes grew by 130,000.

This growth is driven by schemes with 1,000 members or more, as numbers have fallen in schemes with 12-99 members and 100-999 members, as did the number of schemes.

The total number of members in DC schemes grew by 14% to 2.6m, with coverage now accounting for 30% of workplace pension membership, up from 27%.

The increases seen in 2013 were expected, with the embedding of auto-enrolment during the year. However, the regulator said this data would not fully reflect this.

Because schemes enter their returns to the regulator on a staggered basis, not all new membership is captured in the 2013 report.

The schemes with at least 12 members now account for £30bn (€36bn) of pension assets, with growth seen across schemes of all sizes.

The number of schemes with 12-99 members has also fallen, with more than 1,000 schemes diminishing over the year.

Six additional schemes catering for 1,000 members or more made their way into the industry as well.

Only 29% of schemes of these smaller schemes offer a default fund for members, whereas this is the majority of schemes for larger sizes.

The regulator’s head of DC regulation, Darren Burton, said TPR’s recent work on its DC code of conduct would ensure good practice and governance across all trust schemes this year.

“Automatic enrolment is already having an impact on the DC landscape,” he said. “We are seeing an increase in the number of members, as well as participating master trusts.”