Top level board members are becoming more involved in the introduction of flexible benefits than ever before.
Some 53% of chief executives are now directly involved with setting up such schemes. And just under half (43%) are being run by finance directors compared with only 19% of FDs last year.
As benefits, and pensions in particular, are becoming a more pertinent business concern, many are looking to flexible benefits to help smooth the way for any changes. Some 11% of employers have introduced their final salary pension into a flexible benefits scheme and over 30% allow staff to flex their pension contributions in a money purchase pension plan. A further 41% offer additional voluntary contributions using this method. As pensions simplification measures approach, even more organisations are expected to make changes using this flexible benefits route.
Salary sacrifice benefits are also becoming more prevalent with increasing numbers of organisations taking advantage of legislation that provides employees with home PCs, childcare vouchers and mobile phones. Nearly half (49%) now give employees the chance to buy a discounted computer, compared with 36% last year.
Childcare vouchers are being offered by 65% of organisations, up from 60% in 2003.
• For a copy of Hewitt’s Employer attitudes to flexible benefits 2004 report, cost £200, please contact Alita McGuinness on 01442 201390.