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Three quarters of self employed men have no pension


Less than a quarter of self employed men in the UK have any form of pension, official figures from the Office for National Statistics shows.

Only 22% of self employed men had any kind of personal pension in 2012/13, which was down from 62% in 1996/7. The amount of self employed men with pensions was at 35% in 2005/6.

This is in stark contrast to the rise of the amount of people with pensions, totalling 8.1 million in 2013 due to auto-enrolment being introduced. Auto enrolment has reversed an almost continuous decline in pension membership since 1967, when membership stood at 12.2 million.

People who are self employed are not included in the auto-enrolment scheme, and do not have to join a pension scheme if they so choose.
Auto enrolment makes it compulsory for employers to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a pension scheme. The employer must also pay money into the scheme. It is currently being phased in, starting with the largest of the UK employers. Everyone who is eligible is set to be enrolled by October 2018.

The scheme was brought in to encourage workers to build up retirement savings so they can live comfortably in old age. Experts are worried that self employed people who have not saved will have less quality of life than those with a personal pension, and some are calling for personal pensions to be made compulsory for everyone.

The ONS says the introduction of ISAS in 1999 and the recession may be behind the rapid fall in savings rates.
There are 4.2 million people self employed in the UK, in which 58% are males.

Self Employed?

Are you self employed and nearing retirement age but have no pension? Read our pension rescue guide for other alternatives for making money in your retirement.

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