Self-employment is an integral and important part of the UK economy. Today around 5 million people, 15 per cent of workers, are self-employed and it’s likely that number will rise.
So who are they? There’s a tendency to think that all self-employed people are the same. 5 million Alan Sugars building up their empire. But in fact the variety is wide ranging. Whilst a number will be looking to grow and develop their business, others may be financially secure and working for themselves in order to do something they enjoy. Equally some may see their work as a hobby, whereas others will be doing several different jobs simply to make ends meet.
However different their jobs may be, and their motivations for being their own boss, there’s one issue that’s common to many. Under a quarter are actively saving into a pension.
In the first keynote speech of the NEST Insight 2017 conference, Matthew Taylor of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), discusses some of the issues and possible solutions around the self-employed and pension saving.
Drawing upon the Taylor review, he considers:
- How can we incentivise self-employed people to save into a pension when they won’t get an employer match like employed workers?
- Is a change to the taxation of self-employed labour part of the solution? Should employers be taxed in the same way for using self-employed labour as they are for employed labour?
- Should self-employed people pay a higher rate of national insurance?