Opt-out rates from automatic pensions enrolment has averaged 9%, with most opt-outs among the over-50s, a survey has found.
Research by the Department for Work & Pensions took place among a sample of 50 private and public sector employers covering some 1.9 million workers. It found 61% were already members of a pension scheme before automatic enrolment began last autumn, and 24% had been automatically enrolled in a scheme. The remaining 15% were ineligible.
The opt-out rate was 9% overall, varying between 5%-15%. Opt-out rates were higher among those aged 50 and over than for other age groups. For the over-50s, opt out was between 25% and 50%, compared with an average 8% rate among those aged under 30.
According to the DWP, participation in a workplace pension schemes has increased from 61% to an estimated 83%, equivalent to an increase from 1.2 million to 1.6 million people.
Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "These results are significantly better than the forecasts, which had predicted opt-out rates of up to 30%."
But he added: "The largest employers were always likely to produce the best results so the real challenges still lie ahead."
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