People just don’t work in the same way they used to. Tribes? The Gig Economy? Career Contractors? It all points to the same thing: that self-employment is now a central part of the labour market that can’t be ignored.
Today more people are choosing to be independent and/or freelancers, and the UK’s rising tide of self-employed workers shows no signs of abating. In fact, with the gig economy growing rapidly, and corporates under pressure to reduce the costly obligations of traditional employment, there’s a chance we’re on the brink of a tectonic shift in the way we’re expected to work.
There’s nothing new about being self-employed, but it’s always come with a sort of stigma attached. That’s changed. Freelancing or working for yourself is no longer a niche career choice. Did you know that there are already 5 million people in the UK that are registered as self-employed? Possibly. Did you know that the financial needs of these workers are often neglected by established banks, insurers and pension managers? If not, you really should.
The problem is this: many of the UK’s self-starters, doers, and hustlers are being told by established financial institutions that they don’t tick enough boxes. Don’t believe us? Ask a freelancer about their first mortgage application, or how long it took them to finally set up a pension. Watch the smile fade from their face.
We were particularly puzzled by the pension problem. I mean, how hard can it be? Pensions are pretty much the same as they’ve always been and people are largely aware of the importance of long-term savings, tax reliefs and the relatively low risks of investing in a pension. But only 18% of self employed workers are contributing to a pension pot. That is alarmingly low.
So what’s the blocker? Well, whilst regular employees are being spoon-fed “silver platter” pension programmes, setting one up by yourself seems to give people the heebie jeebies. And it’s understandable why:
1) Freelancers have varying incomes, and prefer not to commit to fixed monthly contributions.
2) There are way too many funds to choose from, all explained in confusing financial jargon.
3) They are deterred by the DIY registration process - it’s clunky.
And to compound the problem, pensions aren’t perceived as urgent, especially for younger people who have less disposable income than any generation since the moon landing (thanks, baby boomers!). So, when confronted with an awkward registration process and confusing acronyms, many simply kick the can down the road. We don’t blame them.
So that’s where Peasy enters the picture. We have one straightforward objective: We’re simplifying pensions for the UK’s self-employed workforce.
Peasy is working with trusted partners to build a pension platform that can meet the needs of freelancers. Fewer fixed obligations, no confusing jargon, and a customer experience that won’t make your head spin.
We’re just getting started and we would love to hear from you. Freelancer pensions have been ignored for too long and it’s about time we change that. Just because you’re not in the rat race doesn’t mean you won’t get trapped.
Join us. What do you say?
Our mission was published on our blog in April 2017, check it out for additional content and new posts.