How do you want your employees to benefit?

As a business, you already do more than simply pay your people for their work.

For most, that means pensions – a benefit valued by employees.

But the modern workplace has been transformed by what you can now offer staff not only to recruit and retain but to motivate and energise them.

We can design a cost-effective way to put in place 21st century employee benefits to drive your company forward.

What do we think is important?

A workplace pension worth having

The benefit likely to be most valued by your people is what will provide for them once they have finished their working lives.

From the outside looking in, a pension scheme may appear to have few moving parts.

But we help hundreds of employers and trustees to make the right decisions about the many responsibilities they bring.

At its heart is governance, the framework within which pension schemes are managed, which extends to investment, administration and communication.

Much of the risk now lies with the employee but there’s still a big role companies can play to help employees achieve a retirement worth having.

We’re dedicated to helping you do that.

Working with employers

No business wants to spend more than it has to in pursuit of its objectives.

Pensions are no different. We have thrived by identifying what our clients seek from the right scheme. While we’re all different, the themes we see time and again are cost management, the ability to recruit and retain high calibre people in a competitive world and confidence when faced with regulation and compliance demands.

We believe your pension scheme can reflect the values and passion which drives your business – and be all the better for it.


Working with pension trustees

We have spent decades advising trustees on the many challenges they face in a changing pension landscape.

This includes:

  • Evaluating their scheme to see if improvements can be made
  • Advising trustees and communicating with members to drive better outcomes
  • Advising on how to face regulation and compliance challenges
  • Shaping a long-term pension scheme strategy

Working for members

We believe it's important that pension scheme members understand and feel connected with the savings they will rely on in later life.

It’s a reality that members who feel more connected to their pensions make better decisions which lead to improved outcomes.

How you communicate can be the difference between turning them off or switching them on to shape their financial future.

We have a separate section dedicated to this but first, let’s look at what you should be prioritising as part of that conversation.

Below we outline five trustee fundamentals:

Value

Dig a bit deeper by testing what the scheme can deliver by applying different scenarios in service of desired outcomes.

Risk

From financial and regulation to communication and reputation, high-quality governance can help manage and mitigate the risks which matter to you.

Reward

Helping your people visualise what their pot could be worth tomorrow can motivate and inspire them today.

Compliance

Good governance is about more than meeting the minimum legal requirements. It’s about maximising potential to ensure processes are robust and fit for purpose.

Monitor

Keeping a keen eye on your scheme means you can spot problems - and opportunities – faster, while remaining focused on what the outcomes are for members.

Pension governance

Why good pension governance matters

How good governance works in your favour

We’ve touched on governance as the framework and approach which can help to drive efficiency and underpin better outcomes for the members of your pension scheme.

But it also helps to support your company’s commercial objectives by being a key part of your reward strategy, to motivate your workforce to perform more effectively over the long-term.

The right governance helps you to create a benefit that employees can recognise as valuable, helps to give you an edge in the recruitment market and enhance your corporate reputation - while keeping compliance hurdles in clear view.


How good governance appeals to employees

It can enable your people to understand how much you value them. And how you’re investing in their future both directly with contributions and indirectly with the implicit statement that they are part of the future of your business.

If your pension priorities are clear, you are more likely to take your people with you – all the better to enable them to make the right decisions at the right times.

Our governance service is a modern and effective answer to building a sustainable and successful workplace pension scheme.

Governance Toolkit:

  • Quality features checklist – allows you to measure your scheme against the regulator’s key criteria. Are you on course? Are you compliant? Can you be confident?
  • A scheme-specific report which details the performance of the scheme and the company behind it.
  • Independent analysis of the default investment option.
  • Vision – a detailed newsletter keeping you up to date with latest legislative developments.

Also:

  • Annual governance meetings (at your office, ours or virtually)
  • Secretarial services (agendas, minutes, documents and actions)
  • Consultancy services for every aspect of pensions
Case study

Governance case study

We identified administration deficiencies, leading to a full review of the provider.

Read the case study

72% of employees want their employer to proactively educate them about pensions 

(source: It's Time to Change, Punter Southall Aspire 2018)

Employee benefits communication

How do your employees know what’s good for them?

By talking to them in a way they understand so they can appreciate the value of what’s on offer.

As a business, you provide anything from dental insurance and childcare vouchers to life cover and pensions. But if you do it in a communication vacuum, no-one is going to notice.

Involving and engaging your people in shaping benefits means they are much more likely to be conscious of what you do for them. If not, what’s the point of developing this aspect of your company?

By using a range of strategic and targeted communication, you can ensure you see the benefit of your benefits spend.

And how does this help your business?

Your staff will feel empowered to make more informed financial decisions and are more likely to be motivated on your behalf as they can witness you are taking steps to help them over the long-term.

Numbers behind why communication matters

We asked 2,000 UK workers in July 2018 about communications around their pensions and found:

85%

want to be kept up to date with the latest developments around their pension

82%

want to be guided in a positive direction for their pension savings

78%

want help changing their pension behaviour for the better

In summary, employees want their employer to help them understand their pensions, so they can make better financial decisions around them. 

 

Your pension scheme gives your employees a valuable benefit they can save into with a choice of investments plus employer contributions and tax relief.


But people can find it hard to engage with pensions.


We think the way they are communicated (or not) is a big factor.

And we want to do things differently.

Engaging, involving and persuading your people

We’ve outlined how important it is to connect with your people.

Communication is a big part of this.


We think the way you talk to, interact and involve your people is critical to aligning their professional and life goals with your vision and goals.


To drive real change, to help improve business performance, we must be bold, impactful and meaningful when it comes to how we develop a relationship with our employees.


Communicating with meaning and impact.

It’s tempting to see everything pensions as all things numbers. We don’t but advocate a number of ways to communicate more effectively, creating involvement.

Doing it by the numbers? You're probably doing it wrong.

You’ve come up with your employee benefits communications strategy, and you know the general information you want to convey.

But it’s not as simple as that.

How will you make sure your messages are received loud and clear by your audience?


Segmentation is the answer.


What you want to say must be powerful, targeted and personal to hit home and persuade your employees to adapt their behaviour in a way that will help them and you.

You need to go beyond the numbers to what makes your employees tick.

Cut through

Powerful messages are ones that  ‘cut through’

It’s easy to think of retiring as something that’s a long way off but cutting through makes it identifiable, bringing it to life.

 

Targeted, tailored

Tailor your messages to your audience if you want them to land and to resonate. 

Unpacking your understanding of your workforce to inform what you say to them and how will give you a much greater chance of a meaningful, ongoing conversation.


Understand your employee's DNA.

Positive, personal

Notoriously, poor communications around pensions can be dry, larded with jargon and gloomy in tone (you’re not saving enough etc). Our research indicates it’s worthwhile taking an upbeat approach

In our 'It's Time to Change', report only 38% said they’d respond to ‘guilt’ messages, and 32% to scare tactics.

Tuning your tone to the positive and personal means what you say is more likely to have a lasting, yes, positive impact.

Communication strategy

Creating a company benefits communication strategy

If you are not a communications expert, how do you create an employee engagement strategy – from scratch - that will work?

If you are launching a benefits programme or looking to review how you talk about an existing one, we can help.

We start by discovering more about your organisation, your overall objectives, your team and your company culture. We then develop insights and ideas to ensure workplace pensions and benefits become a central conversation with your people.

We use a 7-point strategic model to help create communications that will work for your audience.

 

Uniting our expertise in pensions consultancy, workplace savings, individual financial advice, and our work with over 1,200 clients and 200,000 scheme members, we have extended our pensions experience to the wider employee benefits market.

We use this model with our clients to develop an objective-led communication strategy that aims to effectively change their employees’ pension behaviour for the better.

Financial Wellbeing

Working towards financial wellbeing

Frankly, financial wellbeing is another of those baffling phrases bandied about.

Like “engaging employees”, it’s easy to view it as an unhelpful way of describing something that is, actually, really helpful and welcome.

So what is it?

Depends who you ask!

Our employee benefits director, Alan Morahan, shares his view:

"In my mind, financial wellbeing is not about great wealth or riches – for most people the goal is financial stability and the resilience to deal with a pitfall or two along the way. That goal should be attainable for many but managing money scares some people, with small problems being allowed to escalate until they become serious issues, which end up dominating people’s lives.

The way I view it, financial wellbeing isn’t so much about how much money someone has, it’s more about how they manage it. After all, we know of many instances of high earners who have got themselves into a terrible financial mess and lower earners who are good at finding ways to make ends meet and stay out of financial difficulty.

Essentially, there are four components of financial wellbeing – income, spending, saving and borrowing.

To a certain extent there’s only so much any of us can do about our income – we can of course strive for promotions, perhaps bonuses, do overtime or take a second job but for many people the options will be limited and their income is a relatively fixed component of their financial situation.

However, with the right level of understanding and access to some tools there are probably things that can be done about the other three components."

Alan Morahan, Managing Director, Employee Benefits Consulting, Punter Southall Aspire

""Punter Southall have been working with us for several years on advising and guiding us to implement the right solutions for our employee pensions arrangements. They are a trusted partner who have taken time to understand our organisation and with whom we have an excellent working relationship""

Sister Margaret Herlihy, Bursar General, Poor Servants of the Mother of God

Helping your employees understand their money

Our financial wellbeing service is here to help you explain and educate, giving employees the tools they need to make better financial choices at every stage of their working lives and when they retire.

The basics

Your employees' budgets are tight and saving for the future may not be a priority or even possible.

But how do they know they'll have enough in retirement or even be able to retire? That could affect who you want to put in place to succeed them.

Without expert knowledge it can seem daunting to try and work out their pension needs, let alone how they're going to get there.

To make the right choices, employees need more knowledge and an increased understanding of how they want to live in retirement. This will enable you to plan your company’s future with more confidence.

Awareness builds wellbeing

We offer financial awareness sessions, tailored to the issues your people will be dealing with. Starting with pensions, they can be flexed to include:

  • Taking a loan off your mind, credit where it's due: debt management
  • Knowing your assets from your elbow: A how-it-works guide to investment
  • Planning your escape: for over-50s planning to retire

We can also cover specialist areas such as:

  • Tax codes and tax returns
  • The impact of the tapered annual allowance
  • The benefits of salary sacrifice

We can also create presentations, designed with your branding, to meet your needs or to explain more about your people need to know.

Employment law:
sage advice when you need it most

In keeping with the Punter Southall philosophy of finding a fresh approach, we offer sought-after legal expertise in a way we are confident can benefit commercial and private clients.

Aspire Benefits Manager

As the working population gets younger, employees expect access to their information and data on their own terms.

Aspire Benefits Manager helps your business evolve with these challenges and provides an easily-accessible way for you and your employees to manage your full range of benefits.

Using benefits to make your company stand out

As ways of saving have bloomed, companies have remained competitive by offering more than simply pensions to engage and motivate their colleagues.

Those that thrive make sure the benefits they make available match the expectations and aspirations of their people at each stage of their career.

Read our complete guide to Health and Protection to find out how.

GET IN TOUCH

We're here to help

Do you have a query about your pension scheme or trustee duties? Just fill out the form and one of our experts will be in touch shortly.