The 2019 rise constituted a significant increase from 2018 when £13.7bn was saved. In 2017 £11.3bn was saved.
The analysis of DWP figures from investment platform EQ, found that average annual savings for eligible employees also rose to a high of £3,461. Average annual savings in 2017 were £2,960.
Duncan Watson, CEO of EQ’s pension business, said: “These figures represent further reason to be positive about the landscape of later life savings in the UK. Private sector employees are beginning to reap the benefits of auto-enrolment with increases in annual contributions now beginning to catch up with the surge in participation following its introduction in 2012.
“Of course, there is still more to be done in terms of encouraging employees to remain invested in a pension scheme throughout their career and the Covid-19 crisis will likely represent the first key challenge of the auto-enrolment era. We will be watching closely to see if opt-out rates increase as employees are faced with financial pressure and job uncertainty amid the economic fall-out. We would urge employees to keep contributing every month, where possible, to ensure they have a big enough pension pot to support them in their retirement.”