Personal Pension 

Tpas launches mid-life review service

Tpas launches mid-life review service

The Pensions Advisory Service (Tpas) has launched a mid-life review service for self-employed workers.

The Tpas review service is a phone appointment that is tailored to the needs of the self-employed, covering topics such as money, work, family and health - backed up by a summary document and online content.

Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of Tpas, said: "Self-employed people do not have the support that some employees receive from their employer so we want to fill this void.

"We challenged ourselves to design the content of a review that would resonate with the self-employed, where the interaction between work, health, family and money can be much closer with no employer support when life does not go as planned.”

The launch of the service comes after Tpas's pilot scheme tried to better understand how self-employed people see retirement planning and what it could do to help.

Contrary to other studies, the pilot found that self-employed workers are keen to save into pensions for their retirement.

However, levels of knowledge and confidence about pensions, what to do and how to go about it were low.

The majority of the people who took part in the pilot cited the option "I don't know where to go for help" as the main barrier to retirement saving, with "time pressures" a close second.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: "Tpas are leading by example.

"Those in mid-life are at the vanguard of our increasingly longer working lives; they are the first to navigate the pension freedoms; and they are found to be the most stressed in the country. It’s a population in need of support.

"Aviva shares Tpas's ambition to help those in mid-life. We hope others will follow where Tpas and Aviva are leading."

Alan Chan, director and chartered financial planner at London-based IFS Wealth & Pensions, said: "There is a general misunderstanding and a lack in confidence around pensions and the government is to blame for this as the rules and goalposts have been changed many times over the years.

"We find that self-employed clients are keen to set up a pension and if you ask them where they are at with saving for retirement, they will invariably respond with something along the lines 'I've been meaning to do this for a while now and I realise I've left it a bit late'.

"Knowledge and confidence about pensions may be key factors but there is more to it than that because the same is true for employed individuals and yet they have pensions because they are automatically-enrolled onto one. 

"There are a lot of responsibilities being self-employed and, particularly if they have moved from working for an employer, it can be difficult to grasp it all at once and they end up busy 'putting out the fires' rather than proper planning.