Skip to main content

Pensions and Long-Term Savings Trials (Self-Employed)

Volume 651: debated on Tuesday 18 December 2018

Automatic enrolment has transformed pension saving among today’s workers. Almost 10 million workers have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by their employer, and only 9% of those enrolled chose to opt out. And, this success is continuing with automatic enrolment continuing to be delivered and implemented successfully by employers, and increasing individual pension participation and savings levels as highlighted in the 2018 Automatic Enrolment Evaluation Report published today.

As part of the 2017 review of automatic enrolment the Government committed to scope, develop and test targeted interventions aimed at establishing what works to increase retirement saving among the self-employed.

I am pleased to announce that following the Government’s Good Work Plan published yesterday the Government are publishing the “Enabling retirement savings for the self-employed: pensions and long term savings trials! report. This report sets out our delivery plan for delivering research and trialling activity as a step towards implementing the Government’s manifesto commitment to increase retirement saving by the self-employed. This will provide an evidence base for future policy development, using insights from the success of automatic enrolment.

Our plan focuses on testing behaviourally inspired messages and tech tools, which may prompt self-employed individuals to save through a range of approaches in relation to both joining a pension scheme, and facilitating and making regular saving into pensions or other savings vehicles. The preparatory work has already started and trialling activity will go forward into 2019.

It will focus on three areas: marketing interventions aimed at people who are saving or have previously saved to encourage them to continue or recommence their saving behaviour; marketing interventions using trusted third parties to promote the value of saving and provide an easy connection to an appropriate savings vehicle; and behavioural prompts, such as messages delivered through payment mechanisms and/or banking interfaces, to seek to engage self-employed people to think about starting a regular saving habit.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be working with a range of delivery organisations and service providers for the self-employed to commence a programme of research and trialling activity, following preparatory work already done. The report published today is also a call to action to organisations in sectors including payment services; accounting services; self-employed workspaces and growing fintech firms, to work with Government to co-design and test interventions.

The report complements our agenda to empower and improve the consumer experience, in particular through the pensions dashboard and the Single Financial Guidance Body.

The Government’s long-term ambition is for future generations to have confidence in retirement saving—no matter what type of employment or self-employment they experience during their working lives—so that they can prepare for greater security in later life.

I will place a copy of the report in the House Library. These papers will be available later today on: www.parliament. uk/writtenstatements website.