Rainy days well covered as savings and pensions increase

23 February 2005
More and more British people are planning for a rainy day by saving more and investing in pension schemes, new figures reveal.

The figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the trade association for Britain's insurance companies, show a steady increase in UK savings and a significant rise in employer-sponsored pensions.

Annual Premium Equivalent (APE) figures rose by 5.4 per cent in 2004 to a total of £10.2 billion, whilst Individual Single Premium new business saw a 9.5 per cent increase to a total of £48.7 billion.

Sales of Group Personal Pensions rose after falling for two consecutive years, and take-up of employer-sponsored Stakeholder Pensions also increased by more than six per cent.

"Overall these figures show a steady increase in UK savings," Chris Kenny, head of Life and Pensions at ABI, stated.

"We are particularly encouraged by the growth in employer-sponsored Stakeholder Pensions and Group Personal Pensions. This demonstrates that employers are more ready now to respond to our consistent calls for the establishment of these schemes."

The ABI anticipates that forthcoming changes to the Financial Services and Markets Act, making the benefits of joining workplace schemes clearer to employees, will further encourage saving.

However, the association recognises that there is still a significant shortfall in those saving for their retirement.

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