Fred Hicks, Senior Policy Adviser at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), said: “We know that more needs to be done to support the self-employed to save adequately for retirement, with IPSE research suggesting that 14 percent of freelancers aren’t saving for later life in any way.
“This isn’t down to a lack of awareness – seven in ten freelancers told us they’re concerned about their later life savings. But competing priorities, such as building a short-term financial buffer, making essential one-off purchases, or paying down business debts can make long-term saving more difficult.”
Employers have been obliged since 2012 to set up workplace pension schemes which employees are automatically enrolled into. However, there is no similar provision for people who are self-employed.
The state pension currently provides just £9,628-a-year for people with a full history of making National Insurance contributions, which means it may not be enough to provide a good standard of living on its own.
The number of self-employed men has fallen since 2010 but the total number of self-employed workers has increased by 250,000 to 4.3million, up by six percent.
Labour accused the Government of breaking a promise contained in the 2019 Conservative general election manifesto to launch a review into self-employment.
Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said workers in the so-called gig economy were sometimes classed as self-employed even though they were effectively employees, allowing firms to avoid providing them with full legal rights.
She said: “Labour in power will be on the side of the self-employed. We’ll back the decent, hard-working strivers who opt for self-employment because it works for them. We’ll strengthen protections, ensuring the right to a written contract, sick pay and timely payment by law.
“This Tory Government have broken their manifesto pledge to help Britons in self-employment thrive.”
Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Enterprise and backing long term growth is one of the main priorities of the Department.
“This focus on enterprise encompasses a number of different areas, including boosting enterprise by making the UK the best place to start and grow a business, taking advantage of Brexit to build the UK’s competitive advantage, creating jobs and encouraging investment.”