Prudent contractors “planning for retirement”

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George Osborne’s pensions reforms seem to have helped trigger a shift in the financial mindset of independent professionals.

Pensions emerged as a key issue at a recent meet-the-accountant event we held for clients in London, suggesting that more contractors are embracing retirement planning than ever before. A total of 252 contractors attended the two-day workshop, including nearly 70 individuals employed by our sister firm, Parasol, but with an interest in going limited.

Richard Murray, head of operations at ClearSky, attributed contractors’ growing interest in their pension pot to publicity around George Osborne’s recent reforms, as well as structural changes in the UK labour market.

He said: “I don’t think we would have seen the same level of interest in pensions, had this event taken place five years ago. There was a lot of interest in the coalition’s ‘freedom’ reforms, and how to take advantage of them in a tax-efficient way.

“Many of today’s contractors are in it for the long term. Increasingly, they realise the importance of building up a pension pot when the assignments are flowing and they’re at the peak of their earning power.

“This is a positive development, and is further evidence of the ‘normalisation’ of contracting as a career choice for skilled professionals.”

Pensions advice is one service being offered by our new stand-alone division, ClearSky Financial Services. It will also give contractors advice on mortgages, income protection, life and critical illness cover, wills and ISAs.

Financial advisor Martyn Grimley, who has 26 years of industry experience, is heading up the new companies.

He said: “The modern contractor, whether employed by an umbrella or a business owner in their own right, wants advice on his or her personal finances. We feel it’s important to ensure that all of the contractors we serve have access to impartial, well-informed guidance that is tailored to their way of working.”

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For more information on ClearSky Financial Services, call 03333 239 272 or email