Where are the retirement savings of self-employed? An analysis of ‘unconventional’ retirement accounts
Survey data show that many respondents save for retirement in unconventional retirement accounts, such as investments in real estate. In countries where retirement savings are not mandatory for self-employed, representatives of this group often report this as anargument against making retirement savings compulsory. Our study shows that selfemployed retirement savings are low and below individually pre-stated saving intentions, even though this group has generally no occupational pension.We also study the relation between the importance of a broad spectrum of saving motives, such as saving for retirement, and saving behavior. We show that finding the retirement motive important does not directly translate in additional retirement savings, bothfor self-employed and employees. The (median) annuity stream generated by conventional and unconventional accounts from age 67 is small; most savings are residual and are not being put aside for a specific motive.