The percentage of workers saving into an occupational pension has sunk to a 15-year low of 48 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.
New figures show less than half of the working population are saving into a workplace pension for the first time since the ONS started collecting data in 1997. Then the figure stood at 55 per cent.
In 2011, 83 per cent of public sector workers were in workplace schemes while in the private sector that figure was just 33 per cent.
National Association of Pension Funds policy director Darren Philp says auto-enrolment, due to begin in October will help address the problem.
He says: ““It is encouraging that saving has held up in the public sector. But it is a worrying picture in the private sector, which has seen a significant fall in pension uptake.
“Upcoming reforms to automatically put all workers into a pension will be a huge help in tackling the UK’s savings crisis, especially in the private sector. The reforms could bring between five and nine million people into a pension, including younger people and many part-time workers.