Category Archives: Pensions

EntitledTo – understanding benefits entitlements

The EntitledTo website is worth bookmarking. It aims to offer reliable estimates of benefit entitlements for individuals based on the detailed knowledge that they claim to have of the UK’s social security system. The site has some useful benefits calculators … Continue reading

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What to do if you want to be enroled on an employer pension scheme from day one (and the employer says “no”)

Freelancers – and anyone who works short contracts of employment – may find that they lose a lot by not being auto-enrolled in pension schemes from day one. If an employer refuses your request to be put onto the auto-enrolment … Continue reading

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Pensions Auto-Enrolment – the basics for freelancers

The short version of this article: Employers may try to postpone the ‘auto-enrolment’ of people into their pension scheme and they may try to do it for people who are only on short-term contracts. But it is almost always in … Continue reading

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Understanding self-employed pension tax relief

I occasionally have contact from freelance members who aren’t happy that they have been enrolled into a pension scheme as a result of the statutory auto-enrolment. My normal response is – firstly – to remind members that they are turning … Continue reading

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Understanding ‘Umbrella Companies’

I’ve just been preparing an explanation of how Umbrella Companies work to a Bectu member. Just writing it down is a reminder of what an obnoxious arrangement this is when you move people onto these – and this is what … Continue reading

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Flexible savings trials to bridge the freelance pensions gap

I’m going to simply cut-and-paste from the press release from Nest Insight here as I think it says everything that needs explaining well enough: Nest Insight has launched two new pilots to trial flexible savings systems that are designed to … Continue reading

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Knowing how much retirement income you need

Bectu is going to keep nagging freelance members to get a pension because freelancers in the UK generally have shockingly underfunded retirements. There are lots of other posts on this site about pensions if you want to read into this. … Continue reading

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Freelance pensions – low take-up, postponement, and the earnings trigger

Stuart Mott has a post up on the Prospect Blog about the problems around Freelance pensions, addressing the alarmingly low take-up among members and answering a few questions about how the law on auto-enrollment is applied to freelancers. It’s well … Continue reading

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More on freelance pensions

Members who missed the seminar on freelancers and pensions a few weeks ago can view it here. Following this up, and looking at The Great British Retirement Survey annual report, On the one hand, people are hearing to retire as … Continue reading

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How often do Freelancers need to opt out of the pension scheme with a regular employer?

This is another of those posts that we would urge you to act upon only after having read the footnote (below). We are periodically contacted by members who work multiple short contracts for the same engager (e.g. a national broadcaster) … Continue reading

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Why pensions engagement can’t wait for your retirement

As a reminder for the pensions event next Weds evening (15th) at 6:30pm, here’s Stewart Mott on the Bectu blog on why pensions engagement can’t wait for your retirement. “As a union, we want to push forward an agenda of … Continue reading

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Freelancers and Pensions – event – 6:30pm, Weds 15th September

In April 2020, when many people working in the industry were given a sharp reminder about many of the downsides associated with freelance working, a group of members came together under the heading of ‘a new deal for freelancers’ to … Continue reading

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Particularly low pensions and savings levels among self-employed workers

I try to avoid hyperbole on this blog, but the IFS report on ‘Retirement saving of the self-employed‘ makes for shocking reading. As per the intro summary… “The proportion of self-employed workers contributing to a private pension has been steadily … Continue reading

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MPs call for Pension ‘sidecar’ to help workers with no/low cash reserves

This is not news (it’s dated April 2021), but something that Prospect’s pensions specialist Stewart Mott has pointed me at. Broadly, it’s a proposal for a new ‘sidecar’ savings mechanism within pension auto-enrolment to encourage employees to build up emergency … Continue reading

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The Freelance Deal: 1. Employment Rights, Tax and Pensions

This is the first draft of the policy document that has been agreed by the Tax, Employment Rights and Pensions Working Group of London Production Division (LPD) on the 7th May 2020. It is a contribution to Bectu’s proposed ‘New … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Long hours, Management, Pensions, Personal Service Companies, Skills & capacity, Tax, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Has the Covid epidemic altered workers’ retirement plans?

The FT is reporting that, as a result of Covid-19, nearly 1/3rd of workers over 50 (who aren’t already retired) either delayed their expected retirement date (by an average of three years) or given up altogether trying to second guess … Continue reading

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UK women were not told of pension age changes

Women born in the 1950s suffered delays of more than two years in being informed about rises in their state pension age due to government maladministration, according to preliminary findings by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. More here.

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Auto-enrollment is working – though progress is slowing. But what about freelancers?

Automatic Enrollment (AE) in workplace pensions started in 2012 when roughly 50% of workers were enrolled in some  kind of workplace pension scheme. Thanks to AE, the latest ONS figures show that 78% are now enrolled. Growth is, however, leveling … Continue reading

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Building a Living Pension – Resolution Foundation report

A report from The Resolution Foundation on ‘closing the pension savings gap for low to-middle income families’. Download the whole thing – below.

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