I read with a sigh, but not much surprise, that many employers are failing to engage with the retirement process of their employees. The headline from the Close Brothers survey, as reported in Professional Pensions, was that three in ten employers do not know where employees were getting information on the April 2016 pension reforms.
There also seems to be some indication that the fanfare and blast of publicity behind the launch of Pension Wise needs to be followed up, with a third of employers confirming they did not have a clear understanding of how the new service could help retirees.
The story underneath the headline was certainly not all bad. Read more »
Whilst auto-enrolment (AE) has provided invigoration to the pension sector and many employees are engaging with pensions for the first time, there are still historic pension schemes hanging about creating headaches for employers that do not provide the best retirement options for members in today’s market. Spence is actively involved in assisting employers by investigating the possible options available to them to manage both their existing pension scheme liabilities and their new responsibilities under auto-enrolment.
Although liability management exercises have previously been seen to be more advantageous for the employer rather than the member, the dawn of Pension Freedoms from April 2015 has proved that these exercises can now be more attractive to members as well as employers. In addition to reducing an employer’s pension liability, these exercises also give members the opportunity to explore alternative and potentially more beneficial options, available to them in the pensions market. So it’s a win-win for everyone!
Employers – what do we need to know? Read more »
1 October 2012 may seem like a long way away, but it is a date that should be etched in the calendar of employers of all sizes. From that date, employers will begin to be obliged to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a workplace pension arrangement.
The first employers to be affected will be the largest employers (those with at least 120,00 workers) but this will relatively quickly taper down to medium-sized employers so that, by October 2013, employers with only 800 workers will be obliged to comply with the new requirements.
Some of the issues employers will need to face include:
- Associated increased costs
- The position of existing pension arrangements or schemes
- Views on different arrangements for different grades of workers
- Comparing their overall remuneration package with that of competitors
- The views of owners or shareholders
Combined with the reduction of the Annual Allowance from £255,000 to £50,000 from 6 April 2011, this makes it vital for all employers to review their pension arrangements.
Any employers ready to meet this challenge should contact Spence & Partners, whose consultants are highly qualified and proficient at providing advice and solutions to all pensions-related challenges that employers may face. Working with the employer, we will be able to construct a plan which is fit for purpose and will ensure compliance with the new requirements.
In the first instance, you should contact Alan Collins, head of employer advisory services on 0141 331 9970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org