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Release: Pensions in the National Accounts, A Fuller Picture of the UK's Funded and Unfunded Pension Obligations

Released: 27 April 2012


Sarah Levy or Hazel Clarke

Pensions Analysis Unit

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455633

Categories: Economy, National Accounts, National Income, Expenditure and Output, Personal Finances, Pensions

Frequency of release: Ad-hoc

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: UK

  • At the end of 2010, the total accrued-to-date pension obligations of all UK pension providers were estimated at £7.1 trillion, nearly five times the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The total comprised £5.0 trillion of government obligations and £2.1 trillion of private sector obligations.

  • Of the £5.0 trillion pension obligations for which the UK government was responsible at end-2010, £3.8 trillion were in respect of state pensions (263 per cent of GDP).  The latest comparable EU-level estimate (for end-2007) was 278 per cent of GDP.

  • Obligations relating to unfunded pensions for public sector employees in the UK at end-2010 were estimated at £0.9 trillion (58 per cent of GDP). The latest comparable EU-level estimate (for end-2007) was 52 per cent of GDP.

Third in a series of methodology articles describing work to compile the pensions supplementary table for the National Accounts, part of preparation for ESA2010.

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