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Occupational Pension Schemes Survey (OPSS)

Survey at a glance


The Occupational Pension Schemes Survey (OPSS) collects information from pension schemes about scheme membership, number of schemes, benefits, and contributions and includes sections on very small schemes (schemes with 2 to 11 members) and those that are winding up. OPSS is a statutory annual survey and covers both private and public sector occupational pension schemes registered in the United Kingdom. Results from OPSS provide a detailed view of the nature of occupational pension provision in the UK. This includes membership of schemes, the nature of the benefits provided and contributions paid.

The results are used by government departments (for example, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs), regulatory bodies (for example, The Pensions Regulator, the Financial Services Authority), trade unions, trade associations and industry bodies (for example, the Association of British Insurers, the National Association of Pension Funds), charities, research institutes (for example, the Institute of Fiscal Studies), and others such as the National Employment Savings Trust Corporation.

  • Selection process - Pension schemes are selected from the Score database maintained by The Pensions Regulator (TPR)

  • Population - Approximately 50,000 occupational pension schemes

  • Sample - Approximately 1,400 schemes: 1,200 private, 200 public

  • Frequency - Annually

  • Dispatch Date – Between 5 and 7 August

  • Return by Date – Between 4 and 6 October.
    Please Note - Dispatch and Return by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends. 

Where are the data published?

An annual report presenting the results of the survey and a statistical bulletin are published each year and are available on the ONS website.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.