Pensions minister criticises lack of products for the self-employed

Posted 11th May 2018 in For Businesses For Workers

The pensions minister has spoken out about the lack of pensions products available for self-employed people and urged providers to do more to meet the needs of what is a growing proportion of the workforce.

Guy Opperman made a speech at the recent Association of British Insurers (ABI) conference on retirement interventions and said insurance companies are missing opportunities to assist and provide for people who work for themselves.

He explained that the government is developing and testing targeted interventions that will improve options for pensions savings, but added that providers need to shake off their idea that freelancers are difficult to provide products for and therefore not worth targeting.

“I think this is a growing sector of the market – the stats are overwhelming – and it is likely to get bigger. I urge you to get involved and try to formulate policies to deal with the self-employed market,” Mr Opperman told the insurance company representatives gathered at the event.

The Conservative Party’s 2017 manifesto did contain a pledge that all self-employed people should be auto-enrolled into pension schemes, but the most recent review of auto-enrolment failed to show any sign of this actually taking place in the near future.

According to figures from the Money Advice Service, 45 per cent of self-employed workers between the ages of 35 and 55 have no private pension.

Of those who do, most use a personal pension for their pension savings as opposed to any other kind of scheme.

It’s a good idea to look into saving for retirement for anyone who does not have an employer organising a pension plan and regularly paying into it, as it can be easy to neglect.

However, perhaps a lack of plans currently available has been an issue and so the comments from Mr Opperman could galvanise the industry into better providing for the self-employed.

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