Guide to OECD Pensions Statistics


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Pensions Statistics aim to provide valuable data for measuring and monitoring the pension industry and to permit inter-country comparisons of current statistics and indicators on key aspects of retirement systems across OECD and non-OECD countries. Where available the data run from 1980 onwards.

Main topics

Within UKDS.Stat the OECD Pension Statistics are presented in the following tables:

Pensions statistics

This dataset includes pension funds statistics with OECD classifications by type of pension plans and by type of pension funds. All types of plans are included (occupational and personal, mandatory and voluntary). The OECD classification considers both funded and book reserved pension plans that are workplace-based (occupational pension plans) or accessed directly in retail markets (personal pension plans). Both mandatory and voluntary arrangements are included. The data includes plans where benefits are paid by a private sector entity (classified as private pension plans by the OECD) as well as those paid by a funded public sector entity. Data are presented in various measures depending on the variable: millions of national currency, millions of USD, thousands or unit.  The data run from 1980 onwards. 

Pensions indicators

This dataset comprises statistics pertaining to pensions indicators.  It includes indicators such as occupational pension funds’ asset as a percentage of GDP, personal pension funds’ asset as a percentage of GDP, DC pension plans’ assets as a percentage of total assets. Pension fund and plan types are classified according to the OECD classification. Three dimensions cover this classification: pension plan type, definition type and contract type. The data run from 1980 onwards. 

Public pension reserve funds' assets

This dataset covers both social security reserve funds and sovereign pension reserve funds, the two main categories of public pension reserve funds. Social security reserve funds are set up as part of the overall social security system. They are funded chiefly by surpluses from employee and/or employer contributions over current payouts and, in some cases, by top-up contributions from the government through fiscal transfers and other sources. Sovereign pension reserve funds are funds established by governments (independently of social security systems), who finance them directly through fiscal transfers. This table provided statistics on total asset, asset allocation, nominal net investment return, operating expenses and derivatives. Data are expressed in various measures such as stock and flow data for asset classes are available in national currency million, nominal net investment returns are provided in percent, operating costs are expressed as a percentage of total assets under management. The value of derivatives held is available in thousands of national currency. The data run from 2000 onwards. 

Pensions at a Glance/ELS Pensions

The Pensions at a Glance covers all OECD countries, and is designed to show future entitlements for workers who enter the labour market in a particular year and spend their entire working lives under the same set of rules. 

Access OECD data

Access to the OECD Pension Statistics via UKDS.Stat is freely available to all.

Effective July 15th 2015, the UK Data Service made access to OECD online statistics databases free to all users. Please refer to the OECD’s Terms and Conditions, including information on ‘What can you do with OECD published content (data, text and multimedia products).


The OECD produces the following documentation about the Pension Statistics database:

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