The introduction of UK perosnl pension accounts could result in 80% of employer pension schemes cutting their contributions for new employees and those not yet part of existing schemes, a new survey has revealed.

The survey of 750 employers, sponsored by Aegon, Axa, Scottish Widows and Standard Life, also found that the workplace schemes would be struck by an 11% drop in employer contributions following pension reforms due in 2012, although employees will contribute a fraction more.

The research found that life insurers could face a 30% fall in membership of workplace schemes as personal accounts come into play.

Although the changes will lead to an increase in the number of people saving for retirement, those already saving may ultimately have a lower retirement income if they receive lower contributions from personal accounts or if they change jobs.

The survey predicts that the anticipated outcome of the reforms is that current schemes will retain existing contribution levels for present members, while new staff face joining the less generous personal account system.

It also predicts that over the first ten years of personal accounts, total employer contributions will fall by over 10%.