There has been a lot of talk recently about auto-enrolment pensions for the self employed. Most people are in favour, but one guy is not.
Step forward Mr Guy Opperman, the pensions minister who many would have thought might be the saviour of self employed people around our nation, when it comes to pensions that is.
This is a subject I’ve covered before on this blog of course, with many previous news stories touching on the touchy subject of millions of self employed people who are NOT paying into a pension.
What are these millions going to do at the age of 65 you might be wondering? Get a job at McDonalds is one possibility, although many will simply keep on being a self employed worker…well into their 70’s and 80’s, no doubt.
In other words, there is going to be no lazing about on a beach or cruising the world on a cruse liner. The golden years is definitely not going to be a golden time for many.
Many thought the government would come to the rescue of the self employed, but they were wrong.
In fact, Mr Opperman the pensions minister has described auto-enrolment for the self employed as “counter productive” and something which he won’t be “rushing into.” So there is no rush then.
The pensions minister actually sat down to write a letter so he could describe his feelings about the whole matter, and then once he had written down everything in his mind he posted that letter to the pensions select committee.
In that letter, he described any “intervention” as needing “testing and understanding” so they can understand what works.
In my opinion, I reckon the government lack any kind of simple and straight forward plan to bring this into action. They are confused…and have no clear direction. No surprise there then.
A pundit from the news media agrees with me, recently saying that Operman and his lack of plans is “disappointing” and “lacking ambition.”
The pensions minister has also gone on record to state that while there is no direct plan as of yet, there could be the possibility of using the “making tax digital” thing to bring self employed pensions into the public domain.
So let me get this straight…he wants to use a platform the government have struggled to get finished, to introduce a scheme he doesn’t have any kind of plan for.
I think he might be on to something here. Maybe in 10 or 20 years when making tax digital is finally introduced he might even come up with a plan.
My advice to all self employed people out there…sort out your own pensions, or don’t. The choice is yours, but don’t rely on the government for anything.