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Next steps in solving the self-employment savings challenge: Government and industry announce details of two-day tech event

Details are being released today of a two day innovation event being jointly hosted by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury that will explore the next steps in making retirement saving more accessible for nearly 5 million self-employed people across Britain.

The TechSprint event at Aviva’s Digital Garage in East London on 26-27 March will bring together technology experts, providers of new fintech services, banking representatives and modern businesses to work alongside representatives from the pensions industry and Government.  

Teams will be set the challenge of developing practical solutions and interventions, focusing on the role technology and developments such as the Pensions Dashboard and Open Banking could play in helping the self-employed to build greater financial resilience for later life. 

The Government announced it would be holding this event along with the ABI in its Review of Automatic Enrolment, where it committed to testing “targeted interventions with the aim of establishing what works to increase pension saving for the self-employed”.

The self-employed population has grown to represent around 15% of the UK workforce, but they are not included in the framework for automatic enrolment as there is no employer to default them into a workplace pension.

The success of automatic enrolment has contributed to 73% of eligible men and women working in the private sector now participating in a workplace pension. Latest figures from the ONS show that only 19% of the self-employed are saving into a personal pension.

Yvonne Braun, Director of Policy, Long-term Savings and Protection, ABI, said:

“Automatic enrolment has done a remarkable job of bringing thousands more people into pension saving – now we must make sure the self-employed aren’t left behind. People who work for themselves are a very diverse group but they will all need to fund their retirement, and all stand to benefit from tax relief when they invest in a pension.

“Ensuring all of today’s workers have enough money to live on in retirement is an important goal. This event is a valuable opportunity to consider how new technologies could contribute to that.”

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman and Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen are both due to speak at the March event.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, said:

It is clear that the near five million self-employed people across Britain increasingly represent a significant and diverse part of our workforce. That is why we are hosting this event – the first public forum of its kind – to begin to tackle the barriers they face and better enable them to build retirement savings for their later life.”

John Glen, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, said:

“Automatic enrolment has already brought over 9 million people into a workplace pension, but more needs to be done to help the 15% of Brits who are self-employed, to ensure they can afford the retirement they aspire to. We need innovative solutions, which is why we are bringing together tech experts from across the field, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

Invitations are being issued directly to several hundred people but anyone else interested in taking part should request details of how to apply via tech-sprint2018@abi.org.uk


Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:

Malcolm Tarling                       020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147 667

Sarah Cordey                          020 7216 7375    Mobile: 07860 189 071

Dominic Stannard                    020 7216 7350    Mobile: 07889  641 702

Melanie Fernandes                  020 7216 7660    Mobile: 07720 497 617

2. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.

3. An ISDN line is available for broadcast. 

4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

Last updated 12/02/2018