This is the third in a series of articles on Pensions Auto Enrolment and most employers will be aware by now that the government have introduced new laws aimed at getting people to save for their retirement. Workers not already in a pension scheme are now being automatically enrolled into one – but can choose to opt out.
This is the first time compulsion has been used to resolve the income in retirement shortfall issue and business owners could be forgiven if you were to regard it as just another costly headache for small enterprise. However, since you can’t get out of it perhaps a better way of viewing the legislation would be that it is an ideal opportunity to connect with your staff and show them how much you value the work that they do.
For many employers it will be a chance to re-visit existing pension arrangements, check on their efficiency level and re-market them in a positive light to the members. Businesses setting a scheme in place for the first time should use the occasion to engage with their staff and demonstrate how rewarding a workplace pension can be.
A good quality pension scheme is highly regarded and in most employee benefit surveys sits only just behind basic remuneration on the list of ‘would like to have’. Used effectively it will aid in the recruitment of quality individuals and improve retention. That is why it is so important that employers use this opportunity to install a plan that provides value for money. Opt out rates were anticipated to be around 25% but so far there has been an over-whelming response from the workforce with opt outs averaging less than 10%.
At a time where most of us feel we are working harder for less it is key that all employers get the best out of their most important asset – their people. A successful business needs motivated, accomplished people as they drive for profitability and success. Staff engagement and a sense of well being is a pre-requisite.
Effective communication is vital and will be the means to ensuring a positive outcome – business leaders must make certain they take maximum advantage.