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Six in ten workers in hospitality and agriculture not paying into a pension

The TUC has today (Monday) revealed the UK’s pension blackspots.

The analysis shows that in some industries, like hospitality and agriculture, six in ten workers are not enrolled in a pension.

The TUC says many are missing out on a decent retirement because they earn less than £10,000 – the level of earnings at which employers must enrol someone into a workplace pension.

Despite the success of pension auto-enrolment, nearly 9 million UK workers are still unable to save into a pension scheme.

The five industries with the lowest level of pension cover are:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing – 65% of employees (93,000) do not have a pension.
  • Hospitality – 60% of employees (908,000) do not have a pension.
  • Other services (hairdressing and beauty) – 56% of employees (270,000) do not have a pension.
  • Construction – 50% (493,000) of employees do not have a pension.
  • Arts and entertainment – 48% of employees (253,000) do not have a pension.

The TUC also found evidence of a “pension lottery” among those saving into a workplace pension.

In low-paid sectors, like wholesale and retail, nine out of ten savers received contributions worth less than 8% of salary from their employer.

By contrast, in industries like financial services (where there are more high earners), the vast majority of savers received more than 8% in contributions from their bosses.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“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, into 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.”


Editors note

Notes to editors:

- The five industries with the lowest pension provision


Number of workforce without pension

% of workforce without pension

Agriculture, forestry and fishing



Accommodation and food service activities



Other service activities






Arts, entertainment and recreation



Source: ONS

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