Pensions & employee benefits roundup - November 2017

Katri Tuomainen, 29 November 2017

Despite the appetite for financial education in the workplace, the majority of employees don’t have access to employer-provided financial education.

Research from Close Brothers and Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association finds that financial education is becoming increasingly popular with 48% of employers saying that they currently offer financial education. Further 20% state that they’ll plan to introduce it in the next twelve months and 7% intend to do so in the next 3 years.

However, a paradox emerges as the employees surveyed report a distinctly different experience: three quarters (75%) of employees report that they have not been provided any financial education by their employer to help them understand what savings choices exist and what’s most suitable for them.

The experience of those employees who reported receiving financial education in the workplace was largely positive and only 13% said that it was either too complicated to follow or not useful.

Our research also shows that the majority of employees would find financial education from their employers useful. 76% say that they’d hope to gain at least one thing out of financial education offered by their employer. The most popular things people hope to get out of financial education are receiving help in learning to save for retirement and getting a better understanding of their overall income.

Financial worries can have a significant impact in employees’ lives, wellbeing and workplace performance.  Our research found that one in five employees feel that their financial worries have affected their work while a third say they have lost sleep worrying about their finances.

Financial education can help employees better manage their finances and offers employers an opportunity to support and engage their workforce.


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 October 2017.

PMI poll: Three-quarters of public not aware of 2018 AE rate hike                         
Professional Pensions, 2 October 

A significant majority (72%) of the public are unaware minimum employee auto-enrolment (AE) contributions could triple from 1% to 3% next April.

Extension of AE to self-employed would capture less than 50% of workers     
Pensions Age, 2 October                                                                                                         

The extension of auto-enrolment in its current form would capture less than half of the 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK, the Pensions Policy Institute has noted. 

A fifth of employers don’t measure effectiveness of benefits
Health Insurance Daily, 2 October                                                                                             

A fifth (20%) of employers in the UK have no measure in place to assess the effectiveness of their employee benefits package, a poll suggests.

Fewer than half of DB transfers deemed suitable by FCA                                       
Professional Pensions, 3 October

The Financial Conduct Authority deemed fewer than half (47%) of the defined benefit (DB) transfers it reviewed - where the recommendation was to transfer - to be suitable, its latest report has shown.

PASA to mediate on administration service transfers 
PASA, 4 October

PASA has announced it is launching a voluntary mediation service to resolve the issues experienced by schemes during the transfer of administration services from one provider to another.

94% of group personal pension members invest in default fund                       
Employee Benefits, 4 October

The majority (94%) of group personal pension (GPPs) members invest in their scheme’s default fund, according to research by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) and Columbia Threadneedle.

TPR intervenes in 281 suspected scams since 2012
Money Marketing, 5 October

The year with the most interventions for suspected scams was 2013/14 when TPR used its powers 87 times.

Weak workplace cultures help explain UK's productivity woes                                     
Gallup, October 6                                                                                                                     

The most recent data, gathered in 2016, indicate just 8% of employed Britons are engaged at work, down from 17% in 2012.

Wellness: It’s Not Just Fruit on a Friday!                                                                           
Capita Employee Benefits, 10 October

How is employee wellness supported in your organisation? Perhaps corporate gym membership? Smoking cessation programmes? Fruit on a Friday? All great initiatives that contribute to employee wellbeing. Possibly mentally, certainly physically. Which is where the focus lies in most wellness programmes.

A quarter of workers ‘would only take a sick day if they were hospitalised’                 
Health Insurance Daily, 11 October 

Almost a quarter (23%) of UK workers would only take time off work if they were hospitalised and had no other choice, a poll suggests.

Young people lose more than £6,000 a year due to wage discrimination 
Young Women’s Trust 11 October 

A new report by Young Women’s Trust shows that under-25s are missing out on between £820 and £6,300 a year because they are not entitled to the legal ‘National Living Wage’.

Gender equality at work has barely improved in 10 years, report finds
People Management, 13 October

The UK’s gender equality at work has barely budged in 10 years, a recent report has found, sparking warnings that women could be waiting decades to see a real difference. 

Training managers can improve workers' mental health 
University of South New Wales, 12 October         

Research by the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Sydney shows that training managers about mental health can have a direct effect in improving occupational outcomes for employees.

Financial Pressures for the younger generation 
Capita Employee Benefits, 17 October 

Our own research earlier this year found that 41% of employees aged 16-34 worry about how they’ll get through the month on the money they earn.

75% have not received employer-provided financial education
Employee Benefits, 18 October

Three-quarters (75%) of employee respondents have not received financial education from their employer to help them understand what savings choices exist and what is best for them, according to research by Close Brothers and the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

Context crucial to interpreting HR data correctly
Capita Employee Benefits, 19 October

HR Magazine hosted a round-table, supported by Capita, to explore the importance of analysing people data intelligently.

PLSA AC 2017: Over £1bn lost to pension scams – Snowdon                                     
Pensions Age, 19 October 

Over £1bn has been lost to pension scams, Pension Liberation Group chair Margaret Snowdon has predicted.

Opperman confirms support for dashboard with DWP to lead project
Professional Pensions, 19 October

Pensions minister Guy Opperman has confirmed the government will support the dashboard. 

Almost half of adults say they have limited financial knowledge   
Health Insurance Daily, 20 October  

The government has been urged to tackle the financial problems faced by UK adults by addressing the nation’s lack of financial literacy.

ACA Survey finds transfer requests from DB are soaring                                                 
Association of Consulting Actuaries, 24 October

The latest results from research point to a huge bow wave of pension transfer requests from defined benefit schemes which is placing enormous pressures on scheme administration.

More than £14bn accessed through pension freedoms                                                  
Money Marketing, 25 October 

Savers have accessed £14.2bn through pension freedoms since the reforms were launched in April 2015, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs.

Lords defeat government over cold calling ban 
Citywire Money, 25 October 

The defeat in the Lords means a pensions cold calling ban amendment could be included in the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill. 

Government announces plans for disclosure of pension costs and charges           
Department for Work and Pension, 26 October

Pension schemes will for the first time be compelled to publish the fees they charge their members for investing their pension, under proposals announced today.

Small trust-based schemes face highest charges, DWP survey finds
Professional Pensions, 26 October

Trust-based defined contribution (DC) schemes with between one and five members face the highest ongoing charges for investing their retirement pot, research has revealed. 

Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers                                   
Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Employment, 26 October

Poor mental health costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion a year, with an annual cost to the UK economy of between £74 billion and £99 billion.

8 lessons from the iPhone that we can apply to employee benefits 
Capita Employee Benefits, 26 October

Joe Shaffery, Orbit Creative practice lead reflects upon the last ten years since the iconic iPhone was released to the world and concludes 8 lessons from the iPhone that we can apply to employee benefits.

Half of UK workers aged 40-64 won’t have enough money to retire when they reach their State Pension Age 
Age UK, 27 October 
Half of all workers aged 40-64 - nearly eight million people - do not expect to have enough money to stop work and retire when they reach their State Pension Age, according to new YouGov research for the Charity Age UK.

DWP consults on bulk transfers of DC pensions without member consent             
Department for Work and Pensions, 26 October

The consultation by the Department for Work and Pensions seeks views on draft regulations intended to simplify the bulk transfer of defined contribution pensions without member consent.

23% of millennials do not know how much their employer pays into their workplace pension
Employee Benefits, 31 October

Under a quarter (23%) of respondents aged between 18 and 34 with a workplace pension do not know how much their employer is paying into their occupational pension, according to research by Aegon.

Retirement incomes remain 27% lower than in 2008 financial crisis 
Pensions Age, 31 October 

Retirement incomes are still 27 per cent lower than in the 2008 financial crisis, according to research by Moneyfacts. 

About the author

Katri Tuomainen Research and Engagement Executive

Katri Tuomainen

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