However, there's currently no similar scheme obliging the self-employed to save for their retirement.

Many sole traders and company directors across the country are therefore less prepared for the future than their employed counterparts, which is a problem given that the UK has a growing army of self-employed workers - 4.8 million as of October 2017 according to the Office for National Statistics.

The early bird gets the better retirement

When it comes to pensions, the earlier you start saving better. According to financial adviser Drewberry's Pension Pot Calculator, if you start saving £200 a month at age 30, by age 65 you'll have a pension pot worth £182,746.19. If you wait until you're 45, your pension pot will be just £73,354.93 at retirement. (Both assume growth of 4% each year.)

The power of compound interest means you could potentially be more than twice as well off at retirement if you save for 15 extra years. Despite this, a huge 73% of self-employed Brits have no pension at all according to a 2017 survey by Drewberry.

How to solve a problem like self-employed pensions...

It doesn't have to be complicated to start a self-employed pension. Personal pensions can be very simple to set up and manage; stakeholder pensions in particular must meet certain government standards, such as caps on charges.

In fact, sometimes the most complicated part of paying into a pension is figuring out how much tax relief you'll receive on your contributions. You'll receive at least 20% tax relief from the government if you're a basic rate taxpayer, with additional relief on top if you're a higher or additional rate taxpayer.

To make things even simpler, you could join the government's National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), which was set up to help employers provide low-cost pensions to employees. This is only for those who are sole trader or solo company director and don't employ anyone else, however. Alternatively, if you do employ others, you could join NEST as an employer and use it to meet your legal obligation to supply staff with pensions.

Taking a SIPP

However, given that the desire for more control is often the reason why sole traders and company directors are self-employed in the first place, NEST may not be what everyone has in mind.

For those wanting more control over the investments in their pension, a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) offers access to a wider range of investments and funds than a stakeholder pension.

A SIPP also puts you far more in the driving seat in terms of where you invest your pension cash, which is where a financial adviser can come in to help steer your fund in the right direction.

Ultimately, a financial adviser's guidance is the main way in which a pension can be made simple. If you've been employed before, they could even unearth some long-forgotten pensions from previous employers that you might benefit from consolidating into your new arrangement. Overall, an adviser is there to cut through all the jargon, recommend funds and investments that suit your needs and assess whether you're on track to meet your retirement goals.

They'll likely be able to do this better than you given that you have your business to run. In fact, according to 2015 research from Old Mutual, people who use advisers with financial goals in mind typically find themselves up to 53% better off as a result.