Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20Pensions and Small Business – Ticking Time Bomb or Hidden Treasure? | 2 Foreword The Forum of Private Business and Clifton Asset Management both exist in, and serve, the vibrant community of small and medium sized businesses in the UK. This level of engagement, dealing with, advising on, and resolving many of the issues that perplex business owners gives both organisations a deep understanding of the aims, goals, worries and concerns of small business owners nationwide. Although such understanding is extremely useful in delivering a valuable service to our SME owning colleagues, much of it has been acquired by experience, or anecdotally, without a great deal of formal statistical analysis. It therefore seemed sensible to take a detailed, scientific and independent look at some of the key issues that these business owners face, covering their exit or retirement plans, their attitudes to succession, their level of engagement with their pensions, and whether they had a good grasp of how realistic their aims were, when set against the real time reality of their current circumstances. The resulting body of work is fascinating, but we are very concerned that small business owners are revealing deeply entrenched behaviours that often make little sense in the present, a lack of awareness as to many of the options and strategies open to them, and an optimism which borders on wishful thinking when it comes to long-term outcomes. Clifton and The Forum will be doing their part to educate clients and members, and it is hoped that this report will highlight the knowledge gaps and action points, and stimulate the business community and their advisers to take steps towards better planning, better advice, and better information. Philip Hammond has announced his priority to increase productivity, and if many more small business owners accessed their pensions for business funding, then we could see a huge boost in productivity by using this underutilised resource. The ticking time bomb of under-provision in pensions can then become buried treasure. Hopefully our concluding recommendations to both business owners and politicians will help do just that. ADAM TAVENER Clifton Asset Management Plc IAN CASS Forum of Private Business