Are Your Staff Pensions Aware?
Whatever age you are, if you’re in employment then you need to be thinking about and planning your pension provision properly. Most employers now offer access to a pension at work and joining a workplace pension scheme can be one of the easiest ways to save for your retirement. But as an employer, if you don’t do so already, you need to be having conversations with your staff regarding their pensions and encouraging them to get financially ready for their future.
In the UK, September 15th is Pension Awareness Day and it’s a great opportunity to get your staff talking about pensions and helping them to consider and make provision for their future financial needs. Pension Awareness day aims to get everyone involved and engaged whatever age they are; it’s never too early – or too late to join a pension scheme. But as an employer, what are your obligations?
Employers who don’t already offer workplace pensions will be required to offer them to their employees over the coming years. The automatic enrolment scheme began in 2012 and is being rolled out, starting with the largest businesses and organisations, until 2017. Employers will have to automatically enrol all of their eligible employees onto the scheme.
Employees will be eligible for automatic enrolment onto a workplace pension scheme if they are not already in a workplace pension; they are aged 22 or over or under the State Pension age, earn more than £10,000 a year and work in the UK. Employees can choose to opt out of the scheme if they wish to do so, but for most people it makes sound financial sense to be part of a pension scheme, working with their employer to contribute to their future and ensure some future financial security.
Pensions and pension schemes are notoriously complex to understand and are often daunting for employees to think about. Why not offer them a one to one session with a pensions expert, or have some detailed, but easy to understand information on your workplace scheme in your staff handbooks. Understanding just what their future holds and taking the time to consider their future financial needs can be invaluable for your staff and good practice as a caring employer.
If your workplace isn’t as yet offering your staff the option to join a workplace pension scheme, then it is important that you are aware of your legal obligations on that score, and to make suitable provision under the law for your staff. If you are unsure of how to proceed, then speak to an experienced Human Resources Consultant who will be able to provide guidance to you and your business about setting up a workplace pension scheme and making it available to your employees.
Why not make this year’s Pension Awareness Day on September 15th a day to have an open dialogue with your employees about their financial future and what you can do to help and support them with that.
For more information, guidance or support on workplace pensions or other HR issues, contact Triple Three Solutions today, we are a HR Consultancy based in Manchester and can be contacted on 0161 300 1214