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UK pension contributions pass pre-crash peak

Retirement_fundUK personal pension contributions have passed the peak they achieved back in 2007/08 just as the global financial crisis was breaking, official data shows.

A record £24.3 billion (€27.69 billion) was contributed to personal pensions in 2015/16, up from £20.3 billion in 2014/15, according to HMRC statistics.

The previous peak was the £20.9 billion contributed in 2007/08.

The proportion of these contributions made by employers has continued to rise, and is now 59%.

Contributions from the self-employed increased for the first time since 2011/12, but are still less than half their 2007/08 high point.

The number of individuals contributing to personal pensions also reached a record level of almost 9 million in 2015/16. The previous record was 7.89 million from 2014/15.

Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “It has taken nearly a decade for private pension saving to recover from the global financial crisis. The good news now is that both membership numbers and the amounts invested are on the rise.

“This is partly attributable to auto-enrolment but is also perhaps evidence that people are willing to make provision for their future by investing in long-term savings schemes.”

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