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Welfare and Pensions Welfare and Pensions

Make auto-enrolment pensions available to the self-employed

Last updated: 04:58pm 8 March 2019

We will continue to extend auto-enrolment to small employers and make it available to the self-employed.
Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.64

Our verdict

Since the early 2000s, a series of governments has grappled with the idea of requiring employers to automatically enrol their employees onto a pension scheme. This was finally legislated for in the Pensions Act 2008 under a previous government, with an implementation date of 2012. The new legislation didn’t target the self-employed, and a report by the Pensions Policy Institute in 2016 found that “the proportion of self-employed people saving in a pension has decreased over the past few decades”. This has caused concern over the future retirement prospects of the self-employed, prompting the current government in 2017 to launch a review into the issue.

No legislative action has taken place as yet, but the review suggests that the government is taking active steps towards introducing automatic pension enrolment for the self-employed, which means that this policy can be marked ‘in progress’.

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