Plan participants saved £5.4 billion ($7.5 billion) into defined contribution plans in 2017, up 21% from a year earlier, the U.K. Pensions Regulator said in an annual report.
Assets in defined contribution retirement arrangements increased by 22% in 2017 to £48 billion. Of that total, £16 billion was in multiemployer master trusts. Some 90% of U.K. workers are enrolled into private-sector plans, according to TPR findings. In addition, participation in defined contribution plans increased 29% to 12.6 million participants in 2017.
"The success of automatic enrollment has put DC schemes and particularly master trusts at the heart of pension saving in the U.K., and our figures illustrate this trend. We are also implementing the Pension Schemes Act 2017, which requires master trusts to meet a clear set of standards in order to obtain authorization from us to operate," said Anthony Raymond, acting executive director for regulatory policy, analysis and advice at The Pensions Regulator, in a news release.
The total amount transferred into DC plans from defined benefit plans and other DC arrangements increased to £2 billion from £660 million. The number of DC plans decreased by 52% to 2,180 from 4,560 during the year.
Mr. Raymond added in the release: "We welcome the continued reduction in numbers of DC schemes. We have been concerned about a tail of substandard schemes and have been encouraging trustees who cannot or will not meet the standards we expect to consider consolidation."