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TPAS Launches Midlife Review Service for Self-Employed

There are now 4.8 million self-employed people, meaning over 15% of the UK labour force is self-employed. The average age of a self-employed person is 47. Their number is set to increase with the continuing growth of the gig economy. Research has suggested that this group may have a lower than average pension provision and some aversion to pension saving.

This summer, The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) conducted a pilot 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 participants 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.

Following the results of the pilot, TPAS has today launched a new service that helps self-employed people work towards a better retirement. The review 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 The Pensions Advisory Service said:

“The Pensions Advisory Service is about helping people get the best possible pension they can in retirement. 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.

We would like a Midlife Review that looks at the financial aspect of retirement to become the social norm for everyone including the self-employed.”

Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva said:

“This is great news. 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.”

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