At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 24-30 March 2017


Your quick-read round up of the reward and benefits stories appearing in the press in the past seven days.

The headlines you might have missed between 24-30 March.

Delta – Online access to pension cash just months away
Corporate Adviser: Drawdown customers will be able to make withdrawals from their pensions and change their income levels themselves through new technology to be launched by Delta Financial Systems in Q4 of this year. Read story

‘Worsening longevity’ raises questions for SPA increase
Corporate Adviser: Longevity is falling and people are dying younger than expected, raising questions for Government plans to increase state pension age, says Quantum Advisory. Read story

Michael Johnson: Nudge savers into default drawdown and annuity at 80
Corporate Adviser: Pension savers should be automatically nudged into low-cost default income drawdown plans at age 55, allowing withdrawals of between 4 and 6 per cent a year, CPS fellow Michael Johnson has proposed. Read story

What does the salary sacrifice consultation tell us about the state of the group risk industry?
Cover: When the HMRC consultation was launched on 10/08/16 with a closing date of 19/10/16, good and bad things emerged as a result of the industry's focus on this area of work, writes Paul Avis. Read story

Porsche awards 21,000 staff with bonus of up to €9,111
Employee Benefits: The bonus will be made up of two components, including an award of €8,411 (£7,279) in recognition of the organisation’s positive results and exceptional staff performance in the 2016 financial year. Read story

32% take part in company car schemes to drive a better car
Employee Benefits: Around a third (32%) of respondents cite the ability to drive a better car as their reason for taking part in a company car scheme, according to research by Maxxia. Read story

Where should AE go now?
Professional Pensions: Catherine Howarth looks at what issues the auto-enrolment consultation should focus on. Read story

Government raid on tax relief more likely after U-turn on NICs
Professional Pensions: Industry is worried the chancellor's back-down on NICs for self-employed increases chances of tax relief overhaul. Read story

UK 'lags behind most of Europe' on maternity pay
People Management: Only mums in Ireland and Slovakia fare worse, as TUC calls on government to boost statutory rate to match minimum wage. Read story

Parents reap benefits from tech
HR Magazine: Technology gives parents control over where and when they work and a greater ability to manage non-work commitments. Read story

Pret row ‘must not give work experience a bad name’
People Management: Sandwich chain backtracks on plans for unpaid opportunities; fears that employers will be deterred from partnering with schools. Read story

Diversified equity portfolios could lose 11% under hard Brexit
Professional Pensions: Failed negotiations on the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union (EU) could see globally diversified equity portfolios lose as much as 11%. Read story

Tata Steel could cut DB scheme adrift within three months
Professional Pensions: A deal on separating the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) from Tata Steel may be just two or three months away, according to reports. Read story

How trustees can improve record-keeping ahead of TPR's new rules
Professional Pensions: Conditional and common data scores will have to be included in scheme returns from next year. Michael Klimes looks at what trustees need to do and if TPR's requirement goes far enough. Read story

Using flexible benefits to meet the needs of your multigenerational workforce
Reward Guide: How can your benefits suit the need of all age groups? Read story

Financial planning just another unwelcome chore
Reward Guide: As people start their spring cleaning, planning finances comes far down the list of unpopular ‘chores’ for most. Read story

Tribunal rules Excel bicycle courier is entitled to holiday pay
Employee Benefits: The London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a bicycle courier for ground transport organisation Excel is a worker, and is therefore entitled to holiday pay. Read story

65% believe pay transparency can help close the gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: Almost two thirds (65%) of respondents believe that employers who are transparent about salaries can help to eliminate the gender pay gap, according to research by Glassdoor. Read story

CMI confirms reversal in longevity trend
Corporate Adviser: The projected life expectancy of 25-year-olds has fallen for the second consecutive year, with males expected to live 18 months less long than projected two years ago and females expected to die almost two years earlier, new statistics show. Read story

Half unsure of Brexit impact
HR Magazine: Employees are on the fence about their roles, job security and company prospects post-Brexit. Read story

Legal-ease: Gender pay gap reporting
HR Magazine: Everything you need to know about meeting your legal requirements. Read story

Deliveroo to face legal action over holiday pay and minimum wage
Employee Benefits: Takeaway delivery organisation Deliveroo is to face legal action over the entitlement of its riders to employment rights such as holiday pay and the minimum wage. Read story

Schroders reports a 31% mean gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: Schroders has reported a mean gender pay gap of 31%, based on hourly fixed pay across its global workforce. Read story

56% are offered reasonable adjustments to support their mental health
Employee Benefits: More than half (56%) of respondents who disclose poor mental health at work are offered reasonable adjustments or support measures, such as changes to working hours or adjusted job duties, according to research by mental health charity Mind. Read story

Government to tackle scams, charges and transparency 'very soon’
Professional Pensions: The government is planning to release proposals on pension scams, reducing fees and charges, and improving transparency "very soon", according to Richard Harrington. Read story

Aviva: Nine in ten lose out on tax relief due to poor understanding
Professional Pensions: Savers do not understand pensions tax relief as 90% fail to put any of their bonus into a company scheme, according to research commissioned by Aviva. Read story

Article 50 triggered: What does that mean for HR?
HR Magazine: HR magazine rounds up all the areas HR professionals need to know about in relation to Brexit. Read story

NHS staff to receive 1% pay rise
Employee Benefits: NHS staff across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are to receive a 1% pay rise from 1 April 2017. Read story

Deloitte, Environment Agency and Lendlease awarded for workplace mental health
Employee Benefits: Ark Conway Primary Academy, Deloitte, the Environment Agency, and Lendlease are among the organisations awarded for their efforts to support employees’ mental health at Mind’s inaugural Workplace Wellbeing Index Awards. Read story

18% plan to introduce new employee benefits in 2017
Employee Benefits: Almost a fifth (18%) of respondents plan to introduce new employee benefits in 2017, according to research by Secondsight. Read story

9% pay their bonus into their workplace pension
Employee Benefits: Less than one in 10 (9%) respondents opt to pay at least part of their bonus into their workplace pension, according to research by Aviva. Read story

Mortality improvements in the noughties may have been the blip
Professional Pensions: Higher health and social care spending between 2000 and 2010 may have caused a blip in longevity estimates by accelerating improvements, according to Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Over half of DB members that spoke to IFA transferred out last year, finds Willis Towers Watson research
Professional Pensions: A study has found 55% of defined benefit (DB) members who spoke to a financial adviser chose to transfer out to access the pension flexibilities in 2016-17, compared to just 36% the previous year. Read story

AA plans to launch CARE section as pension deficit grows 37%
Professional Pensions: AA has launched a consultation with its final salary scheme members to revalue benefits in a career average section. Read story

Boulding: Government must find other ways to set state pension age
Professional Pensions: The government must find other ways to work out how to set the state pension age (SPA), says Adrian Boulding. Read story

TPR guidance gives bias warning to trustees
Corporate Adviser: The Pensions Regulator has told trustees to look out for bias and ulterior motives of their investment advisers and other stakeholders they deal with in new guidance published today. Read story

Ferdinand Lovett: Workplace pensions and the gig economy
Employee Benefits: Classifying an individual as a worker instead of a self-employed contractor, as in the recent Uber and Citysprint tribunal cases, really matters from a pensions perspective. Read story

Incorporate wellbeing into external reporting
HR Magazine: Rolls-Royce's David Roomes advised on making the business case for H&W. Read story

Government legislates for changes to salary sacrifice arrangements
Employee Benefits: The government has published draft guidance on the changes to certain benefits that attract tax and national insurance contribution (NIC) advantages when offered through a salary sacrifice arrangement for the 2017-2018 tax year. Read story

Unum launches online financial education programme for staff
Employee Benefits: Unum has introduced an online financial education programme for its 800 UK-based employees. Read story

50% provide benefits to assist LGBT staff with family care and planning
Employee Benefits: Half (50%) of global employer respondents provide benefits that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees with family care and planning, such as fertility treatment, surrogacy, adoption, or parental leave, according to research by Mercer. Read story

Ageism the most common form of discrimination, say employees
People Management: Three in 10 claim promotion processes are unfair – but HR is more focused on sexism, according to survey. Read story

Regulator unveils investment guidance for DB trustees
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a guide on investment for defined benefit (DB) trustees as the next stage of its campaign to raise governance standards. Read story

Labour: TPR 'turns blind eye' on lack of member trustees in master trusts
Professional Pensions: Labour has accused The Pensions Regulator (TPR) of being too passive in improving member representation in master trust governance. Read story

We need to focus on the practicalities of the pensions dashboard
Professional Pensions: Chris Connelly wants the pensions dashboard debate to move away from legislation towards contents and practicalities. Read story



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