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Citizens Advice responds to DWP review of pensions auto-enrolment

12 December 2016

Citizens Advice says it is good news that the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) review of auto-enrolment will look at how self-employed people can be helped to save for their retirement, as well as whether people with multiple low income jobs falling below the auto-enrolment threshold are missing out on the opportunity to save.

Since 2001, self-employment has increased by 32 per cent to over 4.5 million. Yet the number of self-employed people paying into a pension has more than halved, falling from 1.1million in 2001/02 to just 450,000 people in 2013/14.

Research by Citizens Advice previously revealed a lack of understanding and lack of trust in pensions among self-employed people, with over a quarter of those working for themselves saying they have never received any information or advice about pensions from anyone.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Auto-enrolment has already kick-started millions of people’s pension savings, but many more are still missing out.

“People who work multiple jobs, none of which break the auto-enrolment threshold, and those who are self-employed are much less likely to have started saving for their retirement.

“Looking at how auto-enrolment could help self-employed people and those who work more than one job is an important step in helping more people save for a financially secure retirement. As this is a very complicated area there will be some challenges to overcome but getting the practicalities of extending auto-enrolment right will pay dividends and help huge numbers of people currently shut out of the system.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.