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Milestone year for savers as auto-enrolment pension pots could grow by 30% across 2018

Pension savers could be set for transformative gains in the value of their pension pots, as a result of upcoming increases in workplace pension contributions.


New analysis from Aviva shows that the average earner could see their pension pot grow 30%1 by the end of 2018, with those same savers potentially adding £36,000 more to their pension fund at retirement2.

9.3 million more employees3 have been introduced to saving for their retirement after being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme since 2012. Aviva’s data highlights that thanks to rising contribution rates in 2018, an employee earning the UK average salary of £26,572 per annum4 could add £840 to their savings pot across 2018, up from £600 in 2017.

Rise in contribution levels set to provide retirement savings boost

Since the introduction of auto-enrolment in 2012, minimum workplace pension contributions have been set at 2% of qualifying earnings5, with 1% of that typically coming from the employee. However, from April 2018 the overall minimum level will rise to 5%, with employees typically contributing 3% of earnings, with a 2% contribution required from employers. 

Aside from the expected savings boost in 2018, the changes should also boost the likely pension pot available to savers at retirement. Based on current contribution levels, an employee earning the average UK salary, who began saving into a workplace pension when auto-enrolment started in October 2012, could have a total of £30,000 in their pension fund at retirement. However, with increased minimum contributions of 5% from April onwards, they could benefit from a £36,000 boost, more than doubling their total pension fund to £66,000 when they retire. 

And with minimum contributions set to rise again in April 2019 to 8%, the same saver would have £101,000 at retirement, representing an additional £35,000 in their pension pot and more than triple the amount they would have under current contribution levels. 

Andy Curran, MD Corporate at Aviva, comments: “Saving via a workplace pension is one of the rare times in life when doing nothing pays. Simply by remaining in their workplace pension scheme, savers can benefit from their employers topping up their savings and receive the added peace of mind that comes from knowing they are contributing to their long-term financial health. While the changes mean employees will also need to increase contributions from their own pay packet, making a small sacrifice now can add up to a big difference when it comes to retirement.   

“Auto-enrolment has been an incredible force for good since its introduction in 2012 with more people than ever before now contributing on a monthly basis towards their retirement. It is vital the latest milestone is used as a basis on which to build further momentum around the need for people to save for retirement. If as a society we are to avoid a retirement savings crunch further down the line, we must go further still in the years to come.” 

Download Aviva’s guide to auto-enrolment here 

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Based on Aviva’s calculations, savers who began contributing to an auto-enrolment pension in 2012 would have £3,664 in their pension pot by December 2018, compared to £2,825 in January 2018. 

Calculations are based on the following assumptions: consistent UK average salary of £26,572 (source below), an annualized return of 2.5% before inflation on qualifying earnings, pension start date of October 2012 (age 22) and end date of September 2058 (age 68). Fund price based on Aviva Diversified Assets Fund II S6. Annual Management Charge of 0.75% 

The Pensions Regulator – Declaration of compliance report (July 2012 – end January 2018)

4 ONS average weekly earnings of £511 per week (released 24 January 2018).

5 Qualifying earnings for 2017/18 are £5,824 - £43,000. The range does change and that has been reflected in our calculations. To see all the qualifying earnings range visit The Pensions Regulator . 


• Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.

• In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  

• Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £475 billion.

• Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.

• By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society. 

• The Aviva newsroom at includes links to our image library, research reports and our news release archive. 

• For an introduction to what we do and how we do it, please click here

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