Company pension schemes fall to record low popularity

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The number of employees saving into a workplace pension has fallen to less than half for the first time since official records began. They've slipped to a low of 48 per cent, according to the Office of National Statistics.

"We've passed an important and worrying landmark," warned Darren Philp of the National Association of Pension Funds. "Less than half the workforce is saving into a pension, and with people living longer the UK is facing a growing headache in paying for its old age."

The problem is that the Government has slashed future state pension benefits for people in the anticipation that they will save for their own retirement. But with most firms scrapping attractive final salary schemes, there's been less encouragement for people to put money aside. The net result could be an army of penniless pensioners.

There are hopes that new rules being introduced from next year that force all companies to automatically enrol staff into a workplace pension scheme will help. "But more needs to be done," said Mr Philp. "We must provide pensions that people have the confidence to save in."