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Trials announced to help self-employed pension crisis

The government is to launch new trials targeted at helping self-employed people make regular contributions to long-term savings.

Between 2016 and 2017, only one in seven self-employed workers saved money into a pension. The figure is now said to be almost a third, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is seeking to make it easier for those working for themselves to make regular and affordable contributions.

Features of the trial include encouraging employees who become self-employed to keep making regular and affordable contributions to a pension, highlighting how financial technology can help the self-employed overcome barriers to saving and making the most of contact points such as online accounting to promote saving for retirement.

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Commenting on the initiative, Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said, “Only around 1 in 7 (14%) self-employed people were saving into a pension in 2016 to 2017. Our trials are designed to make sure that this diverse group of people gets help to plan ahead for greater financial security and the lifestyle they aspire to in later life.

“We want to see effective, long-lasting solutions that boost the future prospects of millions of hard-working self-employed people, and will work with the financial services sector, professional trade bodies, unions and others to achieve that.”

A recent IPSE report found that tailored products such as the sidecar pensions scheme, greater engagement with young people, improved and tailored guidance on government websites and policy documents that were “accessible and jargon-free” would be vital solutions. The report’s recommendations will form the basis of the forthcoming trials.

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