Govt to tackle self-employed pensions issue with two day event

Written by Theo Andrew
12/02/18

The Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury have announced a two-day event aimed at making retirement savings more accessible to 5 million self-employed workers.

The event, proposed in the government’s 2017 Automatic Enrolment Review, will aim to bring together tech experts, fintech service providers, banking representatives to work alongside the pensions industry and government.

The government's AE Review, released in December 2017, has been widely criticised by the industry for not suggesting any workable solution to the issue of self-employed pension savers, dubbing the current framework “not appropriate”.

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman, scheduled to speak at the event, said: “It is clear that the near five million self-employed people across Britain increasingly represent a significant and diverse part of our workforce. That is why we are hosting this event – the first public forum of its kind – to begin to tackle the barriers they face and better enable them to build retirement savings for their later life.”

Last week the government came under further criticism after its response to the Taylor Review offered “little hope” for improving the pensions of the self-employed.

Automatic enrolment has meant 73 per cent of eligible men a women are saving into a workplace pension, while latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that just 19 per cent of the self-employed are saving for retirement.

ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, Yvonne Braun, said: “Automatic enrolment has done a remarkable job of bringing thousands more people into pension saving – now we must make sure the self-employed aren’t left behind. People who work for themselves are a very diverse group but they will all need to fund their retirement, and all stand to benefit from tax relief when they invest in a pension.

“Ensuring all of today’s workers have enough money to live on in retirement is an important goal. This event is a valuable opportunity to consider how new technologies could contribute to that.”

The event will be held Aviva’s Digital Garage in London on the 26th and 27th March and attendees will be tasked with developing “practical solutions and interventions” to help improve retirement savings among the self-employed.

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