People who work in agriculture or hospitality are least likely to have a pension, according to new research from the TUC.
As many as 65% of workers in agriculture, forestry or fishing do not have a pension, closely followed by the hospitality industry where 60% of workers aren’t paying into a retirement fund.
Less than half of hairdressers (44%) have a pension and only half of construction workers are putting money away for their retirement.
The TUC says that while auto-enrolment is encouraging more people to save, nearly nine million workers are still missing out because they earn less than £10,000 a year: the threshold for participation in the scheme which automatically signs up eligible employees into their workplace scheme.
The trade union also expressed concerns over a ‘pensions lottery’ where the contribution you get from your employer varied according to your profession and earnings.
For example, in low paid sectors such as wholesale and retail, nine out of 10 employees get contributions worth less than 8% of their salary from their employer. This compares to higher paid areas such as financial services, where the bulk of workers get more than 8% of their salary paid in by their employer.
‘Millions at risk of retirement poverty’
Commenting on the findings, Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary says: “Auto-enrolment has been a great success. But it’s not a case of ‘job done’. Millions remain at risk of poverty in retirement because they are saving nothing, or very little, in a pension scheme.
“We urgently need the government to help more low-paid workers join schemes. And ministers must set out a plan for increasing contributions from employers.”
Read Moneywise’s recommendations for the best ways to top up your pension.
The government is conducting a review of auto-enrolment which will be considering if the £10,000 threshold is appropriate and how it can be rolled out to lower paid workers and the self-employed who are currently excluded from the scheme.