Employee Benefits Report for Financial Directors

EB_FDReportNews

Employers feel flex tax and NI pressure
FSA urges bonuses to be deferred
Firms still not ready for pension reforms
£2billion of expenses are wrongly cleared
It is legal to retire staff at 65
Aviva improves reward provision

Employer profile

Employee benefits at Yorkshire Building Society

Features

Get staff to see the true value of perks
Pass on management costs of pension schemes
Annuities affect staffing plans
Driving down fleet car costs
It pays to review healthcare benefits
Employers must examine eye care for staff
Special report: Tax efficiency
Paul McGlone: Employers need to focus on pension adviser fees

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Editor’s Comment

As with all aspects of business, reward is feeling the impact of the recession. But it is largely in the realm of bonuses and pay that people are being affected – rather than in benefits themselves.

Whether the situation will stay this way remains to be seen. What we are seeing currently however, is that benefits and reward projects that were approved some time ago continue to be rolled out, while with established schemes the focus is firmly on cost control and reducing expenditure without cutting actual benefits.

Finance directors are no doubt horrified to discover that in many – perhaps most – organisations, benefits have been offered for years or even decades without a serious review of why they are being offered, whether they deliver to any objectives, and why they cost what they do.

With a few exceptions, most employers have no idea of total costs and impact, and trying to discover these and relate them to each other is beyond their expertise and resources.

This means there is a rich vein to mine in cutting costs before FDs need even consider reducing contractual benefits. From rebrokering insurance to checking exactly how much advisers are being paid (and by whom – a can of worms as many are discovering) there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds to be saved.

In this report we have written plenty about the tax and national insurance savings that can be made by offering certain benefits, in particular pensions, as part of a reward package. But given the pressure on costs and the announcement in the pre-Budget speech last year of a future increase in NI, we thought it would be timely to revisit this crucial aspect of offering a reward package.

We are also interested to hear what issues you are facing in your organisations so that we can investigate topics on your behalf. So feel free to drop me an email at debi.odonovan@centaur.co.uk with your thoughts, views, opinions and insights.

Debi O’Donovan, editor, Employee Benefits Report for Financial Directors