• 40 per cent of self-employed say they will never retire
• 27 per cent of self-employed invest in their businesses over retirement funding
• 19 per cent of self-employed view their businesses as their retirement funds

22-10-2012 — / — 40 per cent of UK business owners¹ surveyed in new independent research by Prudential² say that they will never stop working.

The study, which questioned self-employed workers about their financial preparations for retirement, found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of UK business owners say they prioritise investing money into their businesses over saving into pensions, and 23 per cent say they choose to invest in their companies over any other form of personal saving. Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of self-employed workers also say that they think of their businesses as their pension funds, and therefore invest directly into them rather than saving into pension schemes.

Prudential’s study reveals that almost half (46 per cent) of UK business owners surveyed have no private pension savings to support them in retirement. Of these pensionless entrepreneurs, nearly one in five (18 per cent) have shunned saving for retirement because they are unlikely ever to quit work.

While some will draw upon other sources of finance when they stop working, almost a third (29 per cent) will be entirely reliant upon the State Pension. This compares with just 16 per cent of people across all employment types retiring this year in the UK.³

Of those business owners who do have pensions, 27 per cent took the decision to stop making contributions during the economic downturn because business was slow. Only eight per cent of these self-employed workers have since restarted their contributions, while 19 per cent admit that their contributions are still on hold.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “It’s easy to see why many self-employed workers prioritise investing in their businesses over saving into pensions when times are tough. The pay-off is much more immediate and the consequences of not saving for retirement can often feel quite distant. But it is a risky approach that could leave many business owners in financial difficulty later in life.

“A very high proportion of self-employed workers say they don’t have any plans to retire. In many cases, working beyond the normal age of retirement is an excellent way of securing additional income and boosting retirement savings. As people get older, however, their health often declines along with their ability to keep working. Retirement could therefore become a necessity, as opposed to a lifestyle choice.

“Saving for retirement – as much as possible, from as early as possible – is important to help maintain a good standard of living after stopping work. Business owners who have not made these provisions should seek advice from a financial adviser without delay.”

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Notes to editors

¹The term ‘business owners’ includes all those who are self-employed, working for more than 30 hours per week in this capacity and earning income as a result.
²In October 2012, an online survey was conducted among 448 randomly selected adults from the United Kingdom who are Springboard UK Forum panel members, who are employed for 30 hours per week, and who own small businesses. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
³According to Prudential’s Class of 2012 survey, 16 per cent of all workers retiring in 2012 will be entirely reliant upon the State Pension for income in retirement.



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