Salary sacrifice rise

The number of employers introducing salary sacrifice pension arrangements could increase because organisations are no longer required to offer a facility for additional voluntary contributions (AVCs). Changes brought by pension simplification mean that employees will be soon be able to save concurrently into both an occupational pension scheme and a personal pension plan. Currently the Revenue does not allow employees to do this and as such requires organisations to provide an AVC facility. But employers that offer contract-based pension schemes may now close these and encourage staff to make NI savings through the salary sacrifice plan or put money into their own personal pensions. If an employer decides to terminate the AVC facility, the contributions already made into it will still be left in place, unless employees wish to transfer them into their own plans. Additional contributions paid through salary sacrifice arrangements are not considered AVCs because the effect of the sacrifice, which results in the saving, treats the extra contributions as being made by the employer. Firms including BT, Sainsbury’s and Nationwide have already switched. Drinks firm Britvic expects to save around £300,000 for its 3,000 employees.