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Pension contributions fall in 2020

UK employees contributed less to workplace pensions last year, as the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Employee contributions into pension plans fell by 11% from April to June 2020 compared with the previous three months, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data. Over the same period, which coincides with the first Covid-19 lockdown, employer contributions also fell by 5%. During this time, many people’s pension contributions were maintained by the government’s furlough scheme.

This temporary fall in overall contribution rates is against a backdrop of significant growth in recent years, with 10 million people having joined a workplace pension through auto-enrolment by 2019.

Membership of pension schemes remains stable, despite these dipping contribution levels, says the ONS, which has not released data on contribution levels for the rest of 2020. We have yet to see the effect of rising unemployment and ongoing economic difficulties on these figures.