PricewaterhouseCooper harmonises benefits post-merger

Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was formed from the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand in 1998. Carolyn Wilkinson, senior benefits manager at PwC, explains that a year later, it implemented a flexible benefits scheme partly to “align benefits for all staff within the company and recognise the diversity of our staff.”

PwC worked with suppliers and advisers, but relied on its own internal expertise to design and implement its plan entitled Choices for its 14,500-strong workforce. Choices contains compulsory core benefits – such as life assurance, personal accident insurance, income protection insurance and 20 days annual holiday entitlement – as well as tax-efficient benefits.

While the structure of the scheme has not changed significantly since 1999, the branding and communication has. Choices is now part of a wider employee brand called Life, which also includes voluntary benefits, wellbeing initiatives and financial education programmes.

Life was communicated to staff this year through a glossy magazine sent to everyone’s home. PwC also ran roadshows on Choices to explain how many of the benefits work. Toni Graves, UK reward and recognition leader at PwC, adds: “We’ve found that targeted communication, such as benefits roadshows for graduates, work very well as we can focus on benefits they are interested in, such as bikes for work.”