At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 30 November - 6 December 2018

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 30 November - 6 December.

Paul Lewis: HMRC has made a mess of state pension credits
Money Marketing: Thousands have been incorrectly fined, with many also missing out on vital state pension credits. Read story

Two-fifths of younger workers are putting off saving for retirement
Employee Benefits: More than two-fifths (44%) of workers aged between 25 and 34 admit to putting off saving for or investing in long-term prospects such as retirement, according to research by investment management organisation Blackrock. Read story

University of Reading launches sustainability programme for 4,000 employees
Employee Benefits: The University of Reading has launched a gamified sustainability programme to all of its 4,000 UK employees, including academic and support staff. Read story

Hachette caricatures employees’ future selves to boost pension engagement
Employee Benefits: On Wednesday 28 November 2018, London-based publishing organisation Hachette held a workplace pension engagement session at its office on Victoria Embankment, which included seminars, one-to-one chats, and artists drawing ‘future self’ caricatures. Read story

Don't suspend pension transfer activity in the wake of GMP ruling, says industry
Professional Pensions: Trustees should not suspend DB to DC pension transfer activity following the recent GMP equalisation ruling, say this week's Pensions Buzz respondents. Read story

Everyone benefits: Ethical employee perks
HR Magazine: Increasingly socially-conscious employees appreciate perks with an ethical impact. Read story 

Women face greater earnings gap for not going to university
People Management: Graduate premium and ‘motherhood penalty’ could deter young people considering alternative routes into the workplace, says report. Read story

Dashboard at risk of being “a jigsaw with missing pieces” says Steve Webb
Money Marketing: The government must move faster on its pensions dashboard consultations and into the delivery phase, mandating all pension providers to sign up to it, says Royal London. Read story

DWP gives go-ahead for gradual rollout of dashboard; plans for compulsion
Professional Pensions: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published the pensions dashboard feasibility study, nine months after it was originally due. Read story

Southern Water pledges extra £50m to DB scheme after TPR action
Professional Pensions: Southern Water will be forced to cough up more money for its pension scheme earlier than planned after The Pensions Regulator (TPR) intervened in what it said was "unfair treatment" of the scheme. Read story

Half of employees with money worries believe their work is suffering as a result
Employee Benefits: Half (50%) of employees experiencing financial worries believe that the quality of their work is negatively affected as a result, according to a study commissioned by pension and investment organisation Aegon. Read story

A fifth of employees will not receive useful Christmas gift from their employer
Employee Benefits: A fifth (20%) of employees are set to receive a Christmas gift from their employer that they have no real use for, according to research on behalf of rewards organisation Hawk Incentives. Read story

Carnoustie Golf Links adopts mobile platform to increase employee engagement
Employee Benefits: Scottish golf resort Carnoustie Golf Links has adopted the use of a mobile platform, in an effort to increase employee engagement among its staff. Read story

Employees forced to choose own underperformance punishments
HR Grapevine: Under-performing employees at a Californian retail store have been forced to endure punishments such as “drinking soap” and “eating dog food” for failing to upsell certain products to customers. Read story

Xerox MNT constituency opened up for all members
Pensions Expert: The Xerox Pension Scheme has broadened its employed member constituency for member-nominated trustees to include all members, due to the dwindling number of members who are employed by Xerox. Read story

Agency workers earn £400 a year less than directly employed colleagues
Personnel Today: Agency workers are subject to a “pay penalty” of 16p an hour if they are in the same job for three months or more, according to research by the Resolution Foundation. Read story

How to do a performance review
Incentive and Motivation: What are your thoughts when it comes on how to do a performance review? If you’ve done a few but found them uninspiring, stilted and have come away with a sore throat, chances are you did too much of the hard work! Getting employees engaged in a performance review is key. Read story

Pension scam enquiries up 462%
Money Marketing: Visits to the FCA’s Scam Smart website have increased 462 per cent in less than two months following its joint scam awareness campaign with The Pensions Regulator. Read story

Two-fifths say their workplace does not offer mental health support
Employee Benefits: Two-fifths (39%) of employees’ organisations do not offer mental health support at work, according to research by employee services organisation Personal Group. Read story

85% believe it is too early to tell the impact of Brexit on pensions
Employee Benefits: An overwhelming majority of respondents (85%) believe it is too early to tell what the impact of Brexit will be on pensions, according to research by Employee Benefits and Barnett Waddingham. Read story

First pensions dashboard set for launch in 2019, says government report
Employee Benefits: The first version of the pensions dashboard is set to be launched next year, according to feasibility report and consultation into the project conducted by the government. The dashboard will be designed to give individuals information on how much they have in their pension pots and the funds they can expect to access when they reach retirement. Read story

Paradise Granite ordered to pay $134,097 in back wages and liquidated damages
Employee Benefits: Alabama-based countertop installation organisation Paradise Granite has been ordered to pay $134,097 (£104,639.91) in back wages and liquidated damages to 22 employees, due to violations of overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Read story

PPF universe in better funding position but 'significant risk' continues
Professional Pensions: Significant risk remains in the Pension Protection Fund's (PPF) universe, despite higher funding levels, the lifeboat says as it launches its 2018 Purple Book. Read story

BT loses second bid at indexation swap
Professional Pensions: BT has lost a Court of Appeal attempt to swap one section of its defined benefit (DB) pension schemes from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). Read story

Net pay issue to widen as AE lower earnings limit rise confirmed
Professional Pensions: Low earners in net-pay schemes will lose out on more pensions tax relief as the gap between auto-enrolment (AE) qualifying earnings and the personal tax allowance widens. Read story

Auto-enrolment freeze will hurt the most vulnerable, industry warns
Money Marketing: The decision to freeze the auto-enrolment threshold while increasing the personal allowance leaves hundreds of thousands of low earners vulnerable, according to industry figures. Read story

AI, blockchain and data analytics to shake-up employee benefits sector
Corporate Adviser: New report identifies the four key technology trends that are set to impact this global industry. Read story

Widespread support for extension of AE
Corporate Adviser: Majority of people support compulsory pension contributions, bring lower paid and self-employed into automatic enrolment regime. Read story

FTSE 350 pension schemes move back into surplus
Corporate Adviser: Almost half of defined benefit schemes are now showing a surplus according to new analysis from Hymans Robertson. Read story

Insurance broker told to repay bonus after argument over leaving date
People Management: Lawyers say case highlights the importance of drafting employment documents unambiguously. Read story

Major firms slammed for ignoring shareholder revolts on pay
Money Marketing: The Investment Association has criticised 32 FTSE-listed companies for failing to address shareholder concerns over issues like excessive executive pay. Read story

Half of employers believe all staff are aware of their eyecare policy
Employee Benefits: More than half (57%) of employer respondents believe that all of their members of staff are aware of their existing eyecare policy, and 40% feel that most staff are aware of it, according to research by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare. Read story

Court of Appeal upholds that BT cannot change index used to calculate pension increases
Employee Benefits: The Court of Appeal has upheld that telecommunications organisation BT cannot change the index it uses to calculate pension increases for the approximately 80,000 members in section C of its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme. Read story

Anglian Water, Microsoft and Google recognised on 2019 Best places to work: UK list
Employee Benefits: Utilities provider Anglian Water (pictured), retailer Ikea, restaurant chain Nandos and technology organisations Google and Microsoft are among those recognised on 2019’s Best places to work: UK list, compiled by job review and recruitment website Glassdoor. Read story

DWP must compel use of cost transparency templates in pensions bill, MPs told
Professional Pensions: A pensions bill expected next year must include law to require schemes to collect, publish and analyse cost transparency data from their asset managers, MPs have been told. Read story

Stagecoach estimates £24.2m pension hit from GMP equalisation
Professional Pensions: Transport company Stagecoach has estimated it will need to pay £24.2m to equalise guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) for members of its defined benefit (DB) scheme. Read story

State Pension Age increases start to bite
Corporate Adviser: Historic change marks the first time that men's state pension age has risen since 1948. Read story

High Court upholds Deliveroo self-employment and collective bargaining ruling
Personnel Today: The High Court has held that Deliveroo riders are self-employed and cannot form a collective bargaining unit. Read story

Employers should publish disability pay gaps, says TUC
HR Magazine: The government's plans for a voluntary code to encourage employers to disclose disability pay gaps do not go far enough, according to the TUC. Read story

More than a third of parents take unpaid leave to care for sick children
Employee Benefits: More than a third (36%) of parents are having to take unpaid leave from work to look after sick or injured children, according to research commissioned by benefits provider MetLife UK. Read story

All master trusts agree that authorisation regime is a positive development
Employee Benefits: All respondents either agree (7%) or strongly agree (93%) that the master trust authorisation regime is a positive development, according to research conducted by a working party of eight organisations and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI). Read story

Hodge Jones and Allen launches employee ownership trust
Employee Benefits: Law organisation Hodge Jones and Allen (HJA) has transferred to an employee ownership trust (EOT). Read story

Cancer Research UK tops list of best not-for-profit organisations to work for
Employee Benefits: Cancer Research UK is the best not-for-profit organisation to work for in Britain, according to data analysis by job website Indeed. Read story

Brits living in the EU risk having their pensions frozen
Money Marketing: Britons living in the EU, who qualify for a state pensions uprate, could lose the guarantee after disorderly Brexit. Read story

WPC urges TPR for speedy action over Johnston Press pre-pack
Professional Pensions: Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) chairman Frank Field has pressed The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to promptly announce if it will take any action on Johnston Press. Read story

Deliveroo 'riders' denied pension rights
Professional Pensions: Deliveroo riders have been denied pension rights in a gig economy case which has swung against the outcomes of a series of similar court battles. Read story

Capita to appoint workers to its board
Personnel Today: Capita is to offer its staff non-executive director positions, making it the second company in the FTSE 250 to have workers on its board. Read story

Which UK locations have seen the biggest boost in pay this year?
HR Grapevine: Key cities around the UK have seen a huge boost in pay growth, which could be chilling news for businesses looking to hire this winter. Read story

Increases to state pension age ‘could have far-reaching consequences for workforce morale’
People Management: First rise in age to affect both men and women comes into force today. Read story




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