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Employee Benefits News

Latest News
26 Mar 2018

44% of employers offer pre-retirement seminars

UK employers are offering a variety of services to help their employees prepare financially for retirement, according to research by Aon Employee Benefits.

Pre-retirement seminars to help workers plan for retirement are the most popular form of support, provided by 44% of firms surveyed for the Benefits and Trends Survey 2018. Meanwhile, 29% of employers offer individual non-advice sessions for retirees and 27% offer access to independent advice.

When it comes to engaging employees on pension issues, the survey found that 82% of companies use email to educate and engage their employees on pension matters, while almost two-thirds (63%) use printed communications. Just over half (52%) of employers provide access to an online self-service portal, and 27% offer modelling capabilities.

“It is not surprising that for all the noise in the market about engagement, it still boils down to print and face to face communication,” said Martin Parish, Pension Consulting lead at Aon Employee Benefits. “In our experience, the most positive feedback on engagement is received in the cases where we deliver face to face interaction with staff. However, this will likely be the one aspect of pension services that will change the most in the coming years. We expect to see employers, advisers and providers to look to deliver engagement mechanisms that mirror people´s wider social interaction methods — social media, web chat, video content etc.”

Other findings show that some employers are keeping a closer eye on fund performance. In this year´s survey, 28% of employers said they reviewed the default option annually, compared with 38% in 2016, while 15% do so half-yearly, up from 8% in 2016.

A formal governance committee that meets regularly (53%) remains the most common governance arrangement for company pension schemes, with the second most common being meetings with consultants and providers (37%). And the proportion of organisations planning to implement new governance arrangements has doubled from 4% to 8% in the latest survey.

“It´s good news that governance continues to be front of mind and that the upward trend is extending,” Parish added. “This is particularly important considering the contribution changes being introduced through auto-enrolment, retirement flexibility and the impact on default funds plus effective communication and the need to ensure employees understand their pension scheme. These are all significant factors and employers need to be on top of them.”

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