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DWP figures reveal employment sectors that may benefit from auto-enrolment

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has argued that the builders, waiters and gardeners are among those professions most likely to benefit from the introduction of automatic enrollment next month.

Figures from the DWP revealed that new requirement for employers to automatically enroll staff into a pension scheme may have the greatest impact on those employment sectors that currently have a low pension uptake.

DWP data from 2011 shows that just a third (33%) of employees in the construction sector have a workplace pension, followed by a 28% uptake in distribution, hotels and restaurants and 19% in agriculture and fishing.

According to the DWP, pension uptake has fallen in a number of sectors since 1997 including distribution, hotels and restaurants (down from 46%) and the finance sector (down from 46% to 28%).

Saving into pensions has also declined across all age groups, but has been most pronounced for those aged between 22 and 29. This fell from a figure of 43% in 1997 to 24% in 2011.

A downward trend in pension saving was also recorded for both genders. For men this has fallen from 59% to 44% and from 49% to 39% for women.
Steve Webb, pension minister, argued that auto-enrolment would reverse this decline for up to 11m people.

He said: “Pensions are far too important to be the preserve of the few. All workers deserve a decent income in retirement, and far too many are missing out at the moment, particularly those on low to moderate incomes who need them the most.

“Next month, with the dawn of automatic enrolment millions of workers from every industry across the country will start saving so they can secure a more prosperous retirement.”

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