Pensions & employee benefits roundup – December 2016

Gareth Davies, 07 December 2016

Throughout the month our research team keep a close eye on what is happening in the pensions and employee benefits industries. Here is a roundup of the best news articles and stories for November 2016.

Government calls on GIP industry to make case for incentives

Corporate Adviser, 1 November

The Government has launched a green paper calling for better take-up of income protection insurance amongst employers and asking the industry to develop new products tailored to the needs of smaller firms.

Call for state pension age of 80 branded 'truly dangerous'
City Wire, 3 November

Former pensions minister Ros Altmann has branded calls for restricting state pensions to the over-80s and extending means tested support for over-65s as ‘wholly misguided’ and ‘truly dangerous’.

Triple-lock pension should be scrapped, say MPs
The Guardian, 6 November

Guaranteed rises in the state pension should be scrapped according to a damning report by an all-party committee of MPs, which claims the British economy has become “heavily skewed” towards well-off baby boomers.

36% are using auto-re-enrolment to introduce wider pensions communications
Employee Benefits, 9 November

More than a third (36%) of employer respondents are using pensions auto-re-enrolment as an opportunity to introduce wider communications around pensions and pension savings, according to research by Employee Benefits and Close Brothers.

66% would take a pay cut to be happier at work
Employee Benefits, 11 November

Two thirds (66%) of full-time employees, surveyed in the US, UK and Australia, would take a pay cut of at least 1% to be happier at work, according to research by Hired.

Mental health affects everyone, the effects of stress need not
REBA, 14 November

Alistair Dornan, head of health management at Capita Employee Benefits, comments on National Stress Awareness Day, highlighting that almost half of UK workers know someone who’s had to give up work because of stress.

33% do not plan to offer a workplace lifetime Isa
Employee Benefits, 14 November

A third (33%) of employer respondents do not plan to introduce the lifetime individual savings account (Lisa) as a workplace savings tool, according to research by Employee Benefits and Close Brothers.

Workers and employers ‘happy to pay more than AE minimum’
Corporate Adviser, 14 November

Workers and larger employers are willing to increase their pension contributions beyond the auto-enrolment minimum, research from Aviva has found.

76% rank flexible working in their top three benefits
Employee Benefits, 14 November

More than three quarters (76%) of office employees across France, Germany, Spain and the UK name flexible working as one of their top three priorities when it comes to being offered a benefits package from their ideal employer, according to research by BT.

33% of employers view the availability of childcare as a key recruitment and retention issue
Employee Benefits, 15 November

A third (33%) of employer respondents believe the availability of childcare is a key issue in recruiting and retaining staff, according to research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Middlesex University.

Gender savings gap widening as women lag behind in retirement stakes
Scottish Widows, 16 November

Half of women (52%) are now saving adequately for their retirement compared to 60% of men, according to latest Scottish research. But while this maintains the record high levels achieved in 2015, the gap between men and women has widened since 2014, when 50% of women were saving adequately compared with 55% of men.

Total pay increases by 2.3%
Employee Benefits, 16 November

Total pay, including bonuses, increased by 2.3% for employees in Great Britain between July-September 2015 and July-September 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Behavioural biases pose risks to LISA investors – FCA
Retirement Planner, 16 November

Behavioural biases are “likely to pose risks” to those who invest in the Lifetime ISA (LISA), the FCA has warned today in its consultation paper on the new saving scheme.

Women tend to be more engaged at work
HR Drive, 18 November

Women edge out men in engagement at work, finds a recent Gallup study. Not only do they have a one-up on men in engagement, they also help raise employers’ financial performance, says Gallup.

Number of over-65s not getting help rises by 50% in six years
Health Insurance, 19 November

The number of older people not getting help has risen by nearly 50% since 2010, evidence suggests. Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society published reports alongside a BBC analysis of how councils had handled requests for help.

A third of Brits pulled a sickie in the last two years
Health Insurance, 19 November

One third of British workers have taken a sick day in the last two years when they were not really ill, a survey has found.

Age UK calls for ‘flexible and individualised’ approach to state pension age
Retirement Planner, 21 November

The government must take the financial needs of middle-aged carers and those who will struggle to keep working into old age fully into account when making any future changes to the state pension age, Age UK has warned.

Research by Legal & General found workers are worried about sick pay
Pay & Benefits, 22 November

Research by Legal & General found more than three-quarters of employees say they would need to make cutbacks within a month if they were dependent on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Autumn Statement Update by Capita Employee Benefits
Capita Employee Benefits, 23 November

On 23 November 2016, the Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement since his summer appointment. A number of pensions related changes were announced, including a consultation on reducing the money purchase annual allowance and a ban on pensions cold calling. Changes to the salary sacrifice rules and the taxation of termination payments were also confirmed.  

Dementia rates falling
Health Insurance, 24 November

The proportion of elderly people developing dementia in the US is falling, backing up similar findings in the UK and Europe, research shows.

Pension age may be about to rise again, says former minister, Steve Webb
The Guardian, 28 November

Steve Webb said documents produced by the Department for Work and Pensions suggested a “more aggressive” timetable on state pension age (SPA) increases than previously planned was being prepared.

Pensions Guessing Game
Pensions World, 28 November

Anish Rav, head of DC proposition and strategy at Capita Employee Benefits, asks that if we underestimate our own life expectancy, how can we really know how far our pension will stretch? 

46% of employers offer at-retirement support to staff
Employee Benefits, 28 November

Less than half (46%) of employer respondents offer at-retirement support to employees, compared to 45% in 2014, according to research by Employee Benefits and Close Brothers.

Non-consented transfers: Bulk Transfer Certification
Capita Employee Benefits, 30 November

Paul McBride, head of governance for Capita Employee Benefits’ Atlas Master Trust, comments on non-consented transfers: Bulk Transfer Certification.

About the author

Gareth Davies Head of Research and Engagement

Gareth Davies

Insight Research

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