ASHE Pensions Results

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is a UK wide survey that provides a wide range of information on earnings, including workplace pension type by age, gender, occupation and industry.

Latest results

Key points

  • Latest results published 10th May 2021
  • The proportion of employees in Northern Ireland who belonged to a workplace pension scheme in April 2020 decreased marginally over the year to 73%. This is the first time that a decrease in pension membership has been recorded in the last eight years.
  • Nine out of ten public sector employees (91%) and around two out of three (63%) private sector employees were members of a workplace pension scheme in 2020. This is an increase of 11 percentage points (pps) for public sector employees and 40pps for private sector employees since the introduction of automatic enrolment in 2012.
  • Occupational Defined Benefit pension has been the most common form of workplace pension for the past ten years, and remained in and around 30% over that period. Occupational Defined Contribution has increased more than sixfold in the last ten years, from 4% to 25% making it the second most common pension for the last seven years.
  • Males and females had the same proportion of pension membership (73%). While the most common schemes for females was Occupational Defined Benefit schemes (38%), Occupational Defined Contribution pension schemes (29%) were the most common for men.
  • Pension membership varies widely by industry with almost all (96%) of those employed in ‘public administration and defence’ belonging to a pension scheme whilst around third (34%) of those in ‘Accommodation and food service activities’ belonged to one.

Detailed Results

Background Information

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Contacts for ASHE Pensions Results


Ashleigh Warwick
Telephone: 028 9025 5174
Twitter: @NISRA