HomeDaily updateOnly 4% of DB pension schemes still open to new members

Only 4% of DB pension schemes still open to new members


One in 20 (4%) defined benefit (DB) pension schemes remained open to new members in 2023, new data published today by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) shows.

The 199 schemes had a combined membership of 1.2 million savers.

A fifth of DB schemes (20%), with total membership of 2.7 million, remained open to future accrual for their existing members.

Seven in ten (72%) schemes were closed to future accrual and the remaining 4% of schemes were in the process of winding up.

The data was published in TPR’s annual DB Landscape publication which provides an overview of the occupational DB and hybrid pension landscape in the UK, reporting on scheme status, membership levels and assets under management.

The report showed that scheme funding levels have improved since 2022. The number of schemes with 100% or greater technical provision funding levels increased from 2,565 to 3,620. And the total deficit (of schemes in deficit) has more than halved, reducing from £63bn to £28bn.

As in previous years, the DB landscape continued to shrink, TPR pointed out. Since 2022, the total number of schemes has reduced by 2%, from 5,378 to 5,297.

Lou Davey, TPR’s interim director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, said: “Today’s report gives an important overview of the DB landscape, which has more than 9.6 million memberships. Changes in scheme status have been small year-on-year but the trend of a contracting market continues.”

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The endgame for defined benefit schemes creeps ever closer, with less than 200 private schemes still open to new members in 2023. DB schemes were once widespread, but the decline has set in, and they are now well and truly the endangered species of the pension landscape.”

The TPR said it has reviewed how data for the annual report is gathered and analysed, resulting in notable changes to some of its figures. Historical data for the report has also been reviewed and, where necessary, revised.

Data for the report is given to TPR by trustees and administrators in their annual scheme returns.

According to research from pensions consultancy XPS Pensions Group published last month, the end of 2023 saw the rate of people transferring out of their DB pension fall to a five-year low. Its Transfer Activity Index saw a steady downward trend across the year until, by the end of December, the tracker registered an annualised rate of 18 members in every 1,000 transferring their benefits to alternative arrangements.

• The data used to produce TPR’s official statistics is collected from all occupational DB and hybrid schemes, through TPR’s DB and hybrid scheme returns. The report published today used data held by TPR as of 31 March 2023. Schemes are required to submit their returns by 31 March annually.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments