New Calls For Self-Employed Workers To Take Out Pensions

By Sam Thomas | 29th November 2016 | 2 min read

The Government is planning a review of auto enrolment before the end of 2016 to see how to increase pension savings amongst self-employed workers.

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There are roughly 4.5 million self-employed workers in the UK, and with the rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’ – people working for the likes of Deliveroo and Uber – this number is rising steadily. It’s because of this that the Government has begun a review of its flagship auto enrolment policy to see how best to draw these workers into a pension scheme to avoid financial hardship later in life.

The Government’s Family Resource Survey found that while 60% of working-age adults employed as staff were saving into a pension, whilst among self-employed workers the figure was just 16%.

Richard Harrington, the UK’s new Pensions Minister who recently wrote a guest blog for IRIS says that “the self-employed are not all people with accountants and IFAs, many self-employed people could now be earning the minimum wage, maybe a bit more, but it is complicated. In the end we have to look at them being included in an envelope like the automatic enrolment system — and the same with people who have multiple jobs.”

Experts are saying that perhaps the easiest way to draw self-employed workers into auto enrolment would be through the tax system, with everyone paying additional National Insurance contributions which then gets re-routed into the auto enrolment scheme.

Tim Sharpe, policy officer at the TUC, said: “Automatic enrolment has been a great success, giving 6 million more people access to a workplace pension.

“But it mustn’t be allowed to become a policy that works well for men in traditional full-time work but excludes others. Millions of low-paid workers, most of them women, are still missing out. We need to remove the barrier of the earnings trigger so that the millions of workers in part-time work, including those holding down multiple jobs, are automatically enrolled into workplace pensions too.”

Getting up-to-speed with Auto Enrolment

Whether you’re employed or self-employed, auto enrolment is something you’ll need to keep your eye on at the moment. IRIS are proud to be the UK’s largest provider of auto enrolment training. If you’d like to get educated on the Workplace Pension Reforms, IRIS are here for you.

To get yourself started, we’ve put together a host of on-demand webinars covering all things auto enrolment. From introductions to the legislation, to bite-size support session, the on-demand range has you covered. Best of all, it’s completely free!

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