12 Dec 2019

Female entrepreneurs failing to save for retirement

Female entrepreneurs failing to save for retirement

More than a third of female entrepreneurs in the UK are saving nothing for retirement.

This shock figure has been revealed by Scottish Widows.

It says that the number of female entrepreneurs has now hit an all-time high at 1.7million - meaning almost 600,000 of them will have no savings to fall back on in later life.

Not saving enough

But the latest Scottish Widows Women and Retirement Report found that, of those who are putting away something for their future, many are not saving enough for a comfortable retirement.

Less than half of self-employed women save the minimum recommended level - compared to 56% of women who are employed by a company or organisation.

These findings illustrate the success of auto-enrolment in raising pension participation rates among female employees.

However, the survey also highlights that many self-employed women - who do not have an equivalent scheme to encourage saving for retirement - are at risk of being left behind.

The 46% of self-employed women who are saving at least the minimum adequate level are among the best savers in the country. Their average savings rate of 16% of income is higher than self-employed men at 14%.

Business earnings of female entrepreneurs see wide variation, which may explain the polarisation in savings. Four out of five self-employed women who save inadequately earn below £20,000 a year.  

Playing catch-up

Age and career stages also contribute to the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs - women currently in their 30s are playing catch-up when it comes to saving, having missed out on auto- enrolment at the beginning of their career.

Jackie Leiper, pensions director at Scottish Widows, said: "A growing number of women are taking charge of their careers by launching their own businesses or working as freelancers - 700,000 have set up on their own since 2005, and 1.7million women are now self-employed.  

"This raises real concerns when we consider that women are historically under-prepared for retirement and that self-employed women do not benefit from the safety net of auto-enrolment, which has helped boost female employees' savings since its introduction.  

"The good news is that, when self-employed women do save adequately, they actually put more of their income aside than anyone else.

"It's clear that reform is needed to drive a step-change in retirement preparations for the self-employed, in the same way that auto-enrolment has for employees in the workplace."

Speak to an expert about retirement planning

It can be hard to plan for tomorrow when we’re busy living for today, but if you begin planning and saving now you’ll have more options in the future.

Our independent financial advisers can help you devise the correct investment and saving strategy to allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want when you retire.

If you would like to speak to one of our advisers about planning for your retirement, click here.

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