95% feel duty to inform staff of pension changes

Almost all (95%) of employer respondents believe it is their responsibility to inform their staff about any changes to pensions legislation, according to research by financial adviser firm Foster Denovo.

Pension plan-pot-2015

Its survey of 200 employers and 200 employees also found that three-quarters (75%) of employee respondents agree that it is an employer’s duty to educate staff about pension changes.

The research also found:

  • Just over half (51%) of employer respondents provide benefits communication via a staff handbook and 49% do so through new joiner induction programmes.
  • 66% of employer respondents cite a lack of inclination as the reason why they do not do more in terms of benefits communication, and 44% say a lack of time is the main reason.
  • 43% of employee respondents believe that a lack of resources is the main reason why their employer fails to fully communicate benefits to them, and a further 39% cite cost as the main reason.
  • 83% of employer respondents believe that if staff had a full understanding of the benefits provided to them, it would increase loyalty levels and have a positive impact on retention.
  • 80% of employee respondents say they would be more loyal to their employer if they had a better understanding of the benefits available to them.

Ian Bird, business development director at Foster Denovo and founder of Mybenefitsatwork, said: “What is clear is that employers need to become better at communicating the benefits that they offer to their staff. In doing so, their employees are likely to be more engaged and committed.

“The fact that so many rely on the staff handbook to communicate their benefits is concerning. In my experience, handbooks can quickly go out of date and are an unappealing way of engaging with the employee. I truly believe that technology has an essential role to play.

“With so many changes currently taking place in the pensions and benefits landscape, namely auto-enrolment and [the] pension freedoms, there is a greater need to provide employees with up-to-date and accessible information about their benefits and how the legislative changes will impact them.

“Improved communication will lead to increased staff loyalty, engagement and retention. It is my belief that if organisations are investing in the provision of benefits for their workforce, then it is essential that they communicate them. Without it, employees won’t understand or appreciate their benefits, and employers won’t get a demonstrable return on this spend.”