"Some of the more of the more novel financial incentivisation solutions that could be done might be harder to try, whereas working with partners that provide existing services to the self-employed in terms of how they get paid is much more plausible, and we might get to it a bit sooner."
Nest's research, based on 13 interviews with self-employed workers aged between 18 and 54 years old with earnings between £10,000 to £26,000 who were not actively contributing towards a pension, identified three distinct sub-groups that differ in their attitudes and motivations towards to self-employment.
It identified those who do it because they need to make ends meet, those who are self-employed because they desire flexibility and control, and those who derive their identity from it.
Nest Insight is also testing the sidecar model, which would create two different pots – one for short term emergencies and a long-term pension savings plan.
This is separate from the self-employed research projects, even though it can have applications in this group of workers, Mr Sandbrook concluded.
A DWP spokesperson said: "Our reforms have revolutionised pensions saving, and thanks to automatic enrolment almost 10 million workers have started saving or are putting more into a workplace pension. We are committed to helping self-employed people be part of this quiet revolution.
"We are developing trials to test the effectiveness of pension saving approaches for self-employed people and are on track to provide more information about the trials this year, following feasibility work. We welcome Nest’s valuable contribution to the important work being undertaken in this area."