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Pension savings crisis looms for the self-employed

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The growing army of self-employed workers are heading towards a pension savings crisis as two fifths aren’t saving for their retirement.

This figure compares with just 4% of those in employment admitting to not saving for a pension.

Over a third of the self-employed polled by Prudential, said they’re not saving for a pension as they simply can’t afford it.

As such, 31% said they will need to rely on the state pension to fund their golden years, currently standing at around £8,545 a year. Over a quarter (28%) said they will rely on their business to provide an income.

With more than 4.8 million people working for themselves – 15% of the UK workforce – Prudential said this group are heading for a less comfortable retirement and many may need to carry on working.

While the self-employed do save, this money is earmarked for day-to-day emergencies rather than long-term retirement goals.

Just one in 10 self-employed see a financial adviser regularly, despite having potentially more complex requirements than someone in employment.

This is despite one in five not being confident with money and financial matters, while a quarter worry they don’t know enough about money.

Kirsty Anderson, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Saving for retirement is tougher when you are self-employed as there is no one to organise a pension for you and no employer making contributions on your behalf.

“On top of that self-employed workers often don’t have a regular income so many will focus on setting aside money as a safety net if they cannot work.

“Saving for a pension is still important as no one wants to work forever and no matter what your employment status, having money to fund your retirement is essential as the state pension is unlikely to be enough to fund a comfortable retirement.”

Related: See’s VIDEO: How the self-employed can set up and manage pension savings for more information.

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