HR · 29 January 2016

Majority of self-employed worried about pensions savings

Over half of self-employed workers are concerned about finances post-retirement
Over half of self-employed workers are concerned about finances post-retirement

A lack of trust, understanding and available information is holding back self-employed workers from saving into pension schemes, a report published by Citizens Advice has found.

The public body’s findings showed that of the 1.9m self-employed professionals working in the UK, 54 per cent said they were either concerned or very concerned about their post-retirement financial plans.

The semi-regular nature of freelance work combined with not having an employer that will contribute to a pension scheme may be reducing the incentive for self-employed workers to save for the future.

In response to the report, The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) released a statement which called for the provision of simpler financial products of higher calibre for the self-employed.

Chief executive of the IPSE, Chris Bryce, said: “If we are to see more freelancers save for the future, then we need to see more and better quality financial products made available.

“The nature of freelance work means you aren’t always on assignment and can’t commit to setting a regular amount aside for the future,” added Bryce.

Bryce compelled the government to draw up plans for a pension scheme geared specifically towards the self-employed, and named newly created auto-enrolment provider NEST as the organisation that should be responsible for administering such a scheme.

The IPSE Futures programme already exists to provide freelancers and self-employed workers with access to high quality savings products at wholesale rather than retail rates, but the organization wants the government to be doing more.

Recent findings published in the Pensions Regulator Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement bulletin this month suggested that smaller businesses are generally able to navigate auto-enrolment successfully.

Small and micro businesses that reached the first auto-enrolment staging date in June 2015 demonstrated a 90 per cent compliance rate with the new framework.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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