EXCLUSIVE: Peverel Group has launched a series of roadshows and workshops to promote its total reward platform, its flexible benefits scheme and new group personal pension (GPP) plan as it prepares for auto-enrolment.
The property management group opened its flexible benefits enrolment window in March 2013, and employees’ benefit choices took effect from 1 April.
The organisation ran a range of benefits roadshows and workshops for staff, aimed at targeting its diverse workforce of just under 4,000 employees.
Beth Young, group reward and engagement manager at Peverel Group, said: “One-third of our employees have access to work computers, while the remainder do not. It’s a bit of a challenge. Initially, we were relying on written communications that were mailed out. We have got an intranet and noticeboards we use as well. We did an active exercise to get personal email addresses for employees that didn’t have a work computer.”
It looked at its pension population and did some analysis to see where staff were based geographically, then organised the roadshows to target those areas.
“We opened up the roadshows and the communications to all staff across the group,” said Young. “We had a large number of staff transfer over to the new pension scheme, and picked up some additional members as well.”
It switched pension providers at the end of 2012 to offer a new group personal pension (GPP) plan provided by Aviva.
Brand new approach to reward
Peverel Group decided to take a brand new approach to its reward package after being rescued from administration in March 2012 by two private equity companies.
Young said: “At the beginning of last year, we effectively had totally new owners and a totally new board. We ripped up the page and started again.”
The group introduced the BenPal platform, provided by JLT Employee Benefits, in December 2012. This gave it the opportunity to review its flexible benefits scheme, put the management of its pension scheme online and use the platform to promote other benefits.
Preparing for auto-enrolment
Peveral Group’s GPP was previously paper-based, which it recognised would create issues around auto-enrolment.
Young adds: “The platform is also being used in preparation for auto-enrolment, as well as general management of pensions, giving employees greater visibility and ownership of their funds, and the ability to amend them and model them as and when they want.”
Through the roll out of the platform, the organisation was working towards a staging date of 1 May 2013. However, due to a technicality, its staging date has been pushed to 2017. “Our company was in administration, and when we were sold we all came under a brand new pay-as-your-earn (PAYE) reference,” said Young. “Because of this, we were treated as a new entity, and our auto-enrolment date is now in 2017.
“We had done lots of preparation and costing. A lot of the drive of getting the new pension in place was all geared around readiness for auto-enrolment. We found out in January 2013 that we have a lot more time.”