Employee Benefits/Towers Watson Flexible Benefits Research 2010

sponsoredcoverResearch: who are the respondents; key findings

Research: attitudes to flexible benefits

Research: structure of flexible benefits schemes

Research: flexible benefits on offer

Research: tax-efficient flexible benefits

Research: how flexible benefits schemes are administered

Research: alternatives to flexible benefits

Sponsor’s comment: Using flexible benefits can pay off in a period of change

Editor’s comment

As employers have continued to look for ways to make maximum savings to combat the effects of the recession, flexible benefits schemes have proved a useful aid.

One area in which savings can be made is by offering tax-efficient benefits through flex; which can also be accessed via salary sacrifice. This can result in tax and national insurance (NI) savings for staff and NI savings for employers. Two-thirds of respondents to this year’s survey said their flex plan had been effective in enabling them to make the most of these tax and NI breaks. Over the past year, 29% said they had come under pressure to introduce tax-efficient benefits to their flexible benefits scheme, while a further 41% anticipate such pressure in the coming 12 months.

The current economic climate has also provided an ideal opportunity to re-broke benefits to obtain a better price. Just under half of respondents said they had already reviewed their providers, and one-third more are planning to do so.

Such measures may be why this year’s findings show a significant increase in the percentage of respondents that feel flex has helped to reduce or contain the cost of reward in their organisation. As we face the possibility of a ‘double-dip’ recession or, hopefully, head towards an economic upturn, such savings could make all the difference.

Debbie Lovewell, Deputy Editor, Employee Benefits