The Government is expecting 600,000 people to enrol in workplace pensions by the end of the year as auto-enrolment kicks in.
Auto-enrolment is launching on 1 October for firms with more than 120,000 employees.
By May 2015, the Department of Work and Pensions estimates that auto-enrolment will see 4.3 million people enter work schemes.
Pensions minister Steve Webb says: “Few policies affect as many people and this will be a truly radical social change. All the international evidence shows people respond positively to automatic enrolment, and I am determined to make sure that pensions are no longer seen as the preserve of the few.”
Yesterday, Office for National Statistics data showed the number of individuals contributing to private sector pension schemes hit an all time low in 2011, dipping below 3 million for the first time.
The numbers were blamed on a sharp drop in the number of people contributing to private sector defined benefit schemes, which fell from 4.6 million in 2000 to just 1.9 million last year.
The DWP says 11 million people are not saving enough for their retirement, with pension saving falling across all age groups. This is steepest among those aged 22-29, where the percentage of people saving has fallen from 43 per cent in 1997 to 24 per cent today.
Pension saving for men is down from 59 per cent in 1997 to 44 per cent today, while women have dropped from 49 per cent to 39 per cent.