Guidance body steps up work on self-employed

Guidance body steps up work on self-employed

The Money and Pensions Service has been working on mid-life reviews for self-employed people, with almost 200 appointments delivered or booked.

The body, which was created through the merger of Pension Wise, the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service, stated it wants to "ensure that regardless of employment basis, as many people as possible receive the right pensions guidance".

This initiative was launched in November by TPAS and covers four areas: work, health, family and money.

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At the time, Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of Tpas, said: "When thinking about the mid-life MOT, and potential opportunities to support self-employed people, Tpas considered the different needs of the self-employed population.

"We wanted to recognise that they have different starting points, levels of understanding and awareness and will have different formal and informal networks for personal and financial support."

There are about five million people in the UK who are classified as self-employed.

However, Tpas’ latest research—which was conducted with the Centre for Ageing Better—concluded these workers weren’t a homogenous group, they were involved in a wide variety of occupations, sectors and industries, which could include sole-traders, part-time workers, entrepreneurs and those who are employed with a second job. 

Ms Cracknell said: "From the feedback that we received from the self-employed people that took part in the pilot, and our experience that we have from our helpline, we believe that there are two essential ingredients to help people save for their retirement: an intervention in the form of a personal invitation for a mid-life review that offers the opportunity to talk about pensions and the opportunities in planning for retirement; [and] independent and impartial guidance that provides a foundation of pension knowledge that helps people make informed decisions."

In December, the government launched a paper on self-employed retirement savings, where it announced that it is exploring using invoicing and accounting systems to enable automatic pension contributions from the self-employed.