Self-employed pensions: Saving for the future

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Last updated: September 7, 2023

We hate to bring up the P word again but, in this case, it’s necessary. In many cases (not tarring everyone with the same brush, here) the pandemic wasn’t kind to the self-employed. We’ve seen it through our own eyes, watching family members and friends who worked for themselves worrying about the financial implications of lockdown.  

As we’ve emerged, it has been our pleasure to see those same people prosper again as they were able to open their doors and continue to build successful businesses. However, the effect of 2020 & 2021 still lingers. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) and CMME have published a research report: “From inflationary pressures to inflexibility: Reviewing barriers to financial products for the self-employed”. The report builds on those of earlier years, looking at financial pressures facing freelance workers. It examines the impact of macroeconomic factors on the financial decision-making of the self-employed, including attitudes towards saving for later life. 

Being solutions-focused, we’re looking at this through the lens of ‘how can we help’ rather than dwelling on the negatives, but we can’t ignore some of the key stats such as: 

  • 45% of self-employed people and freelancers are not currently saving into a pension 
  • 30% said that, whilst they have a pension, they are not currently paying into it 
  • 15% of respondents indicated that they do not currently have a private or personal pension 
  • 84% were concerned with rising interest rates 
  • The pandemic ensured that over a quarter of self-employed people (27%) had to use their savings to get by 
  • Over two-fifths of those planning to buy a house in the next five years worry that they may not be able to afford it 

All of this to say, we need to do better by the self-employed in our communities. Whilst there isn’t a simple solution to solve the above, something that does help is feeling empowered to control your own finances.  

For many people, it’s tough out there right now, but having confidence in your financial plan can help. Having a path to follow provides reassurance, whether that is putting money into a pension pot or savings account. 

You can start small, if it feels like a stretch and, once you get into the habit of saving, you may find that the money isn’t missed. You could then try to increase the savings into your pension / longer-term pot each year, providing this doesn’t limit you too much. 

We’ve compiled our tips for starting pensions and savings pots here, if you’re feeling inspired.  

Everyone deserves the right to realise their potential, and whilst you can’t control the decisions of the Government or Bank of England, you can start to make changes to benefit your financial future.  

Want to run anything by us? We’ll happily answer emails or talk over the phone for an initial chat. There’s no charge to start with, we like to keep it personal.  

This content is for information purposes and should not be treated as financial advice. We would always recommend speaking to a professional before making decisions regarding your wealth.


The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Even a long-term investment approach cannot guarantee a profit.