Pensions & employee benefits roundup - October 2017

Gareth Davies, 31 October 2017

When are people going to retire from work? Research from Aviva that half of adults expect to keep working beyond the age of 65. An article in The Telegraph refers to this as “the age of no retirement”.

Of the group who thinks they’ll be working beyond 65, 23% expect to keep working after 70 and 13% never plan to fully retire at all!

It was troubling to see that 43% of those planning to retire later said they would do so because they didn’t have enough pension savings and 32% said this was due to living costs.

Our own research found that 50.6% of employees said they would switch to part-time work if, on the day they planned to retire, they realised they had not saved enough in their pension. 37.4% said they would put back their retirement to save more. And clearly whatever the retiring employee hopes to do will affect their employer at the time as well!

Earlier this year, the Cridland review stated that good workplace practice should help older employees with the transition, perhaps taking on a different role within the business.

And this could affect the younger generation too with a newly created grey celling forming, potentially blocking progression opportunities. It may make succession planning harder as employers start to lose control of how people transition out of the business.

Being able to make plans for what their future workforce looks like will mean that employers need to better understand whether their older employees want to – or have to – work beyond a notional retirement date. Education. Engagement. Both of these can help employees better understand their pension and approach retirement with their eyes wide open.


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 September 2017.

What perks would employees leave for?
Incentive and Motivation, 29 August

Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, employees categorically say they would be willing to leave their current job for one that offers greater flexibility and financial rewards. 

63% of parents are unaware of their right to unpaid parental leave
Employee Benefits, 1 September

More than half (63%) of respondents who are young parents are not aware of their right to take unpaid parental leave, according to research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). 

Robots and AI could mean state pension age need not rise
Professional Pensions, 4 September

The state pension age (SPA) could stick at 67 if the government redirects finances from boosted gross domestic product (GDP) arising from the advance of robots and artificial intelligence (AI).

22% feel workplace support would make them comfortable to take time off when ill
Employee Benefits, 7 September 2017

More than one-fifth (22%) of employee respondents believe that workplace support such as employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and access to counselling would make them feel more comfortable taking time off when they are physically or mentally unwell, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.

Retiring later: average Brit now working beyond state pension age
Which? 8 September

The average retirement age has risen by two years for men and three for women. Both men and women are increasingly staying at work beyond the state pension age, official figures show – but how much do you need for a comfortable retirement? Data published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals the average retirement age has risen to 65.1 for men and 63.6 for women.

UK pension system unfair on young people, survey says
Professional Pensions, 11 September

The UK pension system is unfair on young people and the self-employed, a poll by the Society of Pension Professionals (SPP) has said. 

Mental health taboo persists for UK workers
Corporate Adviser, 11 September

A fifth of UK workers would be more likely to go into work with a mental illness than a physical one and just 20 per cent would take time off for a mental health condition, according to new research. 

One in four plan to work beyond 70
The Telegraph, 13 September

The age of no retirement could be around the corner as almost one in four people in Britain plan to keep working beyond the age of 70, new research from Aviva claims.

37% of employers worry staff cannot afford to retire
Employee Benefits, 18 September

More than a third (37%) of respondents worry that their employees will not be able to afford to retire, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown. 

Small and often promotions best for motivation
Incentive and Motivation, 15 September

The latest research shows that smaller but more-frequent promotions are key to minimising the high turnover of IT professionals, according to Alain Pinsonneault of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. 

Fewer than 9,000 new parents took shared parental leave last year
People Management, 18 September

HR has a responsibility to make sure staff know their rights, experts warn. 

Lack of liquid savings leaves employees at risk of financial shocks
Reward Guide, 18 September

Nest Insight has published a discussion paper outlining how many people don’t have enough liquid savings to manage financially on a daily basis. 

Men and younger workers moving away from full-time roles, finds study
People Management, 19 September

Majority of employees now working flexibly but just one in 10 job ads mentions flexibility. 

Employers back AE contribution increases but split on who pays
Corporate Adviser, 19 September

Four out of five employers believe minimum auto-enrolment contributions should rise, but they are divided over who should pay for it, a survey of 400 employers has found. 

MPs launch inquiry into pension freedoms
Money Marketing, 20 September

The Work and Pensions Select Committee wants evidence on whether there are gaps in the advice and guidance market and if customers are changing their behaviour after getting advice as part of its inquiry into the pension freedoms.

67% have specific benefits in place to support staff mental health
Employee Benefits, 22 September

More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents’ organisations have specific benefits and strategies in place to support their employees’ mental health, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.

Uber stripped of London licence due to lack of corporate responsibility
The Guardian, 23 September

US ride-hailing company to appeal against ruling but new chief executive admits it is the ‘cost of a bad reputation’.

Capita’s master trust signs up Schroders for default
Corporate Adviser, 25 September

Capita’s Atlas Master Trust has signed up Schroders to manage DC default proposition to its scheme members. Capita Employee Benefits, which launched Atlas in 2015, will continue to administer the scheme, while Schroders will run the scheme’s default investment strategy, which will be built around a range of bespoke multi-asset funds.

Pension Credit: More than £3bn goes unclaimed
BBC News, 26 September

Up to 1.4 million low income families are missing out on a top-up to their state pension, the government has said. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging people to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours to ensure they are claiming Pension Credit. Nearly two million people claimed more than £6bn in the benefit in 2015-16.

43% do not know how much of their monthly salary to invest into their DC pension
Employee Benefits, 26 September

Around four in 10 (43%) of defined contribution (DC) pension scheme members do not know how much of their monthly salary they should be saving into their workplace pension, according to research by BlackRock. 

39% would like more support to manage care responsibilities at work
Employee Benefits, 27 September

More than a third (39%) of respondents would like more support at work to help them manage care responsibilities for an elderly relative, according to research by Simplyhealth.

Mums more likely to be in work than childless men
HR Grapevine, 27 September

Mothers are now more likely to be in paid work than childless men according to new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). 

DC pension scheme membership up to 62.5%
ONS, 28 September

Total membership of occupational pension schemes in the UK was 39.2 million in 2016, the highest level recorded by the survey, representing an increase of 17.1% compared with 2015 (33.5 million).



About the author

Gareth Davies Head of Research and Engagement

Gareth Davies

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