UK – The number of private sector companies offering pension provision in the UK fell by 5% between 1998 and 2000, though the proportion of employees actively contributing is more or less the same, according to the department of work and pension’s latest two-year survey on employers pension provision.

The survey says that 29% of those companies polled in the latest survey made some form of pension provision, against 34% two years beforehand.
Specifically, the smaller companies of 20 employees or fewer are the main culprit, with the number offering provision falling to 26% from 32% in the last survey. The DWP says the difference in the number of larger companies offering provision, down from 66% in 1998 to 64% in 2000 is insignificant.

Only 7% ran an actual occupational scheme, and a further 9% has set up or is part of a group personal pension (GPP). Some 17% of companies polled said they contributed to their employees personal pension plans.

But there was no major change in the employee contribution rate. Among larger companies, 45% of workers say that they now contribute to a scheme, compared to 43% in 1998. The DWP claims this increase is statistically insignificant. Among smaller companies, there was no change at all.

The survey is based in telephone interviews that were conducted with 2,000 companies employing 2.8m workers between them during November and December 2000.