38% plan to increase their employee benefits offering in 2017


More than a third (38%) of employer respondents plan to increase the number of options in their employee benefits package in 2017, according to research by Mattioli Woods.

Its 2017 Employee benefits insight report, which surveyed 300 employers and gathered data from 2,692 UK organisations, also found that 21% of respondents are the most confident that the employee benefits package they provide offers value for money, compared with 7% who are not at all confident about this.

The research also found:

  • 85% of respondents believe financial advice is something their employees would value and benefit from, however, only 40% would fund this benefit.
  • 58% of respondents believe they should assist staff in making more informed choices about retirement, and 47% are concerned that their employees are not making adequate provisions for their retirement.
  • 45% of respondents review their pension benefits every one or two years, and 56% plan to review their auto-enrolment arrangements in 2017.
  • 42% of respondents used financial advisers to support them with the automatic-enrolment process, while 32% utilised their pension provider, and 20% sought help from in-house teams.
  • 22% of respondents are concerned about the cost of auto-enrolment.
  • 49% of respondents offer a group personal pension (GPP) to employees, 35% provide a master trust arrangement, and 4% have a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme in place.
  • 73% of respondents offer death-in-service benefits to employees, 69% provide voluntary benefits, 32% feature income protection in their benefits package, and 24% offer critical illness cover. Around 76% provide private medical insurance (76%) for employees.
  • 35% of respondents believe the government has a responsibility for financial education.
  • 75% of respondents communicate to staff using individual, personalised letters.
  • 12% of respondents have a fully flexible benefits platform, and 73% have no technology in place to manage employee benefits.

Alan Fergusson (pictured), managing director, employee benefits at Mattioli Woods, said: “The market has never seen so much change. We are now nearing the end of the initial auto-enrolment legislation that started as far back as 2012. With taxation changing, legislation targeting higher earners and new ways of saving being launched, it is an exciting time to be in the reward space.

“Employers increasingly want to see a return on investment around their benefits spend, and benefits communication must improve to assist employers in achieving this.”