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Self-employed risk pensions jeopardy

Dyke Yaxley's Small Business Manager, Martyn Bramwell, said the number of self-employed people in the UK was currently at its highest ever level, and the figures were still rising.

"It has never been easier to bit the bullet and start your own business, which is great news for so many people as it encourages freedom and flexibility.

"But in a survey run by the Federation of Small Business, less than a third of the 1,600 self-employed workers questioned said they were saving into a private pension, and 27% said they were planning to rely on their business to fund their retirement.

"In fact 15% said they currently had no retirement savings of any kind which could create huge problems in the longer term."

Martyn said policymakers had been slow to respond to the boom in self-employment and it was crucial that the UK took action to adapt to the changing face of its workforce.

"The survey revealed that security of income was the biggest challenge for self-employed entrepreneurs, and that the uncertainty over how much they would bring in each month made it difficult to commit to a pension plan.

"But failing to put away any kind of savings ready for retirement is a risky strategy, and it's important that anyone running their own business understands the consequences of their actions."

Martyn said despite the concerns over income, the survey showed that 32% claimed to earn more than £2,000 per month, 41% claimed to earn under £1,000 and 19% said they earned less than £500 a month.

"If you are already self-employed, or you're thinking about making the leap, it's advisable to take professional advice to make sure you're prepared for the future.

"As exciting as it is to go it alone, you need to think about what will happen further down the line too."

DY's Small Business Manager, Martyn Bramwell