Latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics indicate that the government's reforms to workplace pensions are working.

Participation in pensions increased in 2013 for the first time since 2006 and represented the largest rise since records began in 1997.

The figures were collected in April 2013 when automatic enrolment had been running for just 6 months and enrolment stood at just 500,000. The latest figures, released on Wednesday by the Pensions Regulator, show this has now climbed to 3.2 million.

In 2013, 50% of all employees were a member of a pension scheme. This is a rise from 47% the previous year.

In the private sector, 51% of employees in the largest companies (those with 5000 plus employees) were members of a scheme, a jump from 36% in 2012.

Employees under 30 are less likely to be members of a workplace pension scheme than all other age bands, except those aged 65 and over. However, there has been a significant increase in pension participation for this age group.

Pension-2 © The Economic Voice copy37% of 22 to 29 year old employees were members of a workplace pension in 2013, compared to 31% in 2012, the largest increase for any age band.

Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said:

"Our reforms to pensions are working. More people are saving and this shows that even at an early stage automatic enrolment is having an extraordinary impact.

"The scheme has gone from strength to strength and now over 3 million people have been automatically enrolled. Ensuring people can plan for their retirement is paramount to a strong economy."

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