Ever wondered why there is such a low level of take up of pensions by artists? A new piece of research commissioned by AIR will seek to find out.

Our Big Artists Survey 2011 showed that only 16% pay into a private pension plan. Given that 50% of artists are self employed it raises serious questions as to how artists will support themselves once they reach retirement age.

The aim of the research will be to identify how other membership bodies offer pension schemes and to assess the scope and feasibility of establishing one for visual artists within AIR’s benefits for members.

AIR’s Vice Chair, Joseph Young, comments: “The question of artists’ pensions may seem a low priority in these financially challenged times, when artists are finding it hard just to meet everyday living costs. However, the Big Artists Survey 2011 results identified the need for pension provision as a significant gap in artists’ long-term financial planning. It is with this in mind that I committed to prepare a preliminary report on how a self-employed artists pension scheme might work here in the UK.”

Explaining the process, Young comments: “I will be drawing on existing research such as Experts Workshop on Social Security of Visual Artists in Europe as well as direct conversations with other cultural unions such as Equity, the Musicians Union and also insurance brokers. From this we can quickly determine whether a pensions offer to AIR members will be a possibility for the near future.”


Read the Big Artists Survey 2011 results here 

Follow air on Twitter #ArtistsPensions

a-n.co.uk June 2012

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