The Pensions Advisory Service is launching a dedicated national pensions helpline for small business owners and the self-employed.
Designed to run for a six week period from October 2nd, the new helpline - 0845 602 7021 - will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and TPAS says there will also be two accompanying booklets available, one for the self employed and one for small business owners.
TPAS says the shortfall in pension provision is particularly acute among those people who fall into one of these two areas, as surveys by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal the number of self-employed people paying into a pension fell from 64%to 49% between 1998 and 2004.
TPAS says the figures suggest more than half of self-employed women lack private pension provision of any kind, and unlike those who have access to employer contributions, these groups of people are entirely reliant on their own resources for making plans to save for retirement.
And it warns as well as only being able to rely on themselves for contributions, the self-employed people have less access to state pension provision, but most are unaware of where to look for information on their retirement options.
Malcolm McLean, chief executive of TPAS, says the organisation is well aware of the disadvantages the self-employed and small business owners face in getting advice on pensions.
He adds: “I believe our new helpline will fulfil a real need for this important sector of the working population. I hope people will take the opportunity during the period of this helpline to get advice on what they should be doing to plan and provide for their retirement.”
TPAS, an independent body supported by the government, says the normal pensions helpline will continue to run as normal, as will its two websites, which consists of the main site and an additional site dedicated to stakeholder pensions.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7968 4558 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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