The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will develop and test new ways to include 4.8 million self-employed workers in pension savings.
Under plans unveiled today (18 December), the new approaches will allow the self-employed - who make up around 15% of the UK's working population - to save for short-, medium- and long-term financial goals "imminently". According to the DWP, this will include catering for those with irregular incomes.
Features of the trials include: encouraging employees who become self-employed to keep making regular, affordable contributions to a pension or other long-term savings products; and better use of financial technology to help the self-employed overcome barriers to saving.
It will also use self-employed people's communication points of contact - such as online accounting systems - to promote saving for retirement in an easy to understand way.
Pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman noted that only around one in seven (14%) self-employed people were saving into a pension in the 2016/17 financial year.
"Our trials are designed to make sure that this diverse group of people gets help to plan ahead for greater financial security and the lifestyle they aspire to in later life," he added.
"We want to see effective, long-lasting solutions that boost the future prospects of millions of hard-working self-employed people, and will work with the financial services sector, professional trade bodies, unions and others to achieve that."
Standard Life Aberdeen head of global savings policy Jamie Jenkins, who was one of the three chairmen of last year's AE review, added: "Getting the self-employed saving for retirement was a key challenge for the 2017 review and it's great to see the follow-up work in this area progressing.
"It's absolutely right that we test different options rather than simply choosing one solution. We need multiple different approaches to ensure success."
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