Gap opts for stakeholder pension

Case study: Gap

Gap employs 6,500 staff in the UK, predominately in stores across 140 locations, with 90% working on a part-time basis across a variety of shift patterns and days. Sue Hayes, HR consultant, says: "Effective and consistent messaging to this group is one of the biggest challenges we face. This is particularly true in more complex subjects and even more so when the mean age of the workforce is only 25 years and pensions are not considered a priority."

In 2004, the company reviewed its pension communications. "We wanted to ensure that the material and sources were more relevant to our workforce, that all employees knew they were eligible to join our scheme and felt enabled to make informed decisions. However, we believed our objectives could not be achieved with our existing provider or through existing schemes."

The company switched from a group personal pension to a stakeholder arrangement. The initial teasers made no reference to the word pension. Overall take-up of the pension scheme has almost trebled and, among sales staff membership has increased tenfold. Around 95% who attend a presentation join up.

"Employee contributions have also increased in a far higher proportion than employer’s contributions," adds Hayes.