Defined Contribution 

Amount transferred to DC more than doubles in a year

Amount transferred to DC more than doubles in a year

The total amount transferred into defined contribution schemes has increased by almost 150 per cent, from £2bn in 2017 to almost £5bn in 2018, according to The Pensions Regulator.

The data, which was released today (January 31), included transfers from defined benefit (DB) schemes and other DC schemes, however final salary transfers are estimated to make up the majority of the cases.

By comparison in 2014, just before pension freedoms was introduced, the value of transfers into DC schemes stood at £591m.

The data from TPR also showed the total amount transferred out of DC schemes to other workplace or personal pensions increased by 22 per cent in the past year, from £1.7bn to £2.1bn.

Overall, average assets per membership at retirement stood at £9,800 in 2018, up from £9,000 in the previous year.

Asset values are now £60bn, an increase of 172 per cent since the beginning of 2011.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said it was "staggering" to see that 90 per cent of people who are actively saving are now investing into a DC scheme.

She said: "What is evident is that the private pension landscape in the UK is evolving to reflect the changing world of work and retirement, with DB schemes having a total of just 688,000 active members compared to the over 8.4 million across all DC trusts."

She added: "Almost all (99 per cent) of members of DC schemes are invested in the scheme’s default strategy."

David Fairs, TPR’s executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, said the figures showed a "new culture of saving into a workplace pension".

He said: "Regardless of the trends, our role to make sure savers’ money is protected and pension schemes are offering value for money for their members remains vital.

"These figures are yet another reminder about what is at stake if schemes are not run well – people’s livelihoods which could be at risk.

"We continue to encourage trustees, particularly those running smaller schemes which are struggling to meet the standards of governance which we expect, to seriously consider if they are doing the best for their members.

"Winding up and moving members into a better run scheme, such as an authorised master trust, may in some cases be the better option."

maria.espadinha@ft.com