More than half of self-employed want govt pension saving help

More than half (54 per cent) of self-employed workers would welcome further government support in pensions saving, according to research conducted by Prudential.

Of the 54 per cent, 27 per cent would back the expansion of auto-enrolment to cover the self-employed and an additional 27 per cent would support compulsory pension saving.

Prudential retirement expert, Vince Smith-Hughes said: “It is clear that the self-employed want help in saving for retirement and that the state pension alone may not be enough for a comfortable retirement”.

However, not all self-employed workers are concerned. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) of those surveyed do not believe pensions apply to them.

This goes some way to explaining why Prudential’s study found that 43 per cent of the self-employed, which is equal to over two million workers, have no form of pension savings.

Furthermore, 28 per cent said that they will be reliant on the state pension as their main source of income in retirement.

Smith-Hughes continued: “We believe it is important that the government works with the self-employed, and the pensions industry, to ascertain the most suitable option and put appropriate rules in place as soon as practicable.”

Around 15 per cent admitted that one of the reasons that put them off saving for retirement is that they are worried that they cannot immediately access their funds if out of work.

A further 20 per cent of those surveyed said that they find pensions rules very confusing.

The Pensions Advisory Service chief executive, Michelle Cracknell, believed that there is a “clear disconnect between the self-employed and pensions”:

“Currently, they are not getting the help that they need. The self-employed are a diverse group who have many different needs and desires. We must find new ways of getting the key message of the importance of retirement savings across to them and importantly new mediums to deliver those messages.”

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