At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 7-13 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 7-13 December. 

DWP sets out plans for DB consolidator regulation
Professional Pensions: A regime similar to that for defined contribution (DC) master trusts will be set up for regulating defined benefit (DB) consolidators under plans announced today. Read story

TPR to supervise DB consolidators seeking to enter the market
Professional Pensions: Defined benefit (DB) superfunds that wish to enter the market must talk to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) about their plans before opening for business. Read story

Christmas party tops the list of gifts from employers this year
Employee Benefits: Two-fifths (39%) of organisations are holding a Christmas party as the main gift to employees this festive season. Read story

Average salaries for new jobs increase by 28.9% in the UK
Employee Benefits: Average salaries for new jobs in the UK have increased by 28.9% between November 2017 and November 2018, according to job market data from recruitment website CV Library. Read story

TPR issues guidance on DB superfunds ahead of government legislation
Employee Benefits: Employers will need to apply to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for clearance if they wish to transfer their defined benefit (DB) pension scheme into a superfund, according to guidance published by TPR today (Friday 7 December 2018). Read story

Grantley Hall launches employee engagement platform
Employee Benefits: Luxury five-star hotel Grantley Hall has launched a new employee engagement platform to help it attract and retain both local and global talent. Read story

Ian McKenna: Dashboard opportunity for workplace
Corporate Adviser: The proposed pension dashboard framework offers the chance for a real step change in engagement says F&TRC director Ian McKenna. Read story

Academics from ethnic minorities experience 26% pay gap
Personnel Today: Newly published research shows that Russell Group universities pay staff from ethnic minority backgrounds significantly less than their white colleagues. Read story

Four digital trends driving the employee benefits industry
Health Insurance Daily: Health tech, AI and blockchain are the future, says report. Read story

Heathrow Airport to pay for EU employees’ settled status
Personnel Today: Heathrow Airport is to pay for the 350 EU nationals it employs to achieve “settled status” after the UK leaves the EU. Read story

Three-quarters of employees favour wellbeing investment over Christmas party
Employee Benefits: Three-quarters of workers would rather their organisations committed to an investment in wellbeing, rather than spending money on a Christmas party, according to research by consultancy Shine Workplace Wellbeing. Read story

Two-fifths of organisations have established a culture of wellbeing in 2018
Employee Benefits: Two-fifths (40%) of organisations believe they have achieved a culture of wellbeing in 2018, compared with a third (33%) in 2016, according to a study by HR and benefits adviser Buck. Read story

Kohler Mira hosts two-week mental health awareness event
Employee Benefits: Shower manufacturer and plumbing organisation Kohler Mira hosted a two-week mental health awareness event for 850 UK staff in November 2018, to kick start its mental health resilience strategy. Read story

TPR in talks with Interserve scheme trustees amid recovery plan talks
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is "working closely" with government contractor Interserve and the trustees of its defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, it has confirmed. Read story

OECD: Target pension tax perks at wealthiest
Professional Pensions: Tax-based financial incentives for savings are wasted on the lowest paid workers as they may not have the means to contribute more into their pension, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says. Read story

Central Florida Bakery pays $28,055 in back wages and damages
Employee Benefits: Sandford-based organisation Central Florida Bakery has paid $28,055 (£22,227.98) in back wages and liquidated damages to 18 employees, due to violations of the US Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Read story

ISS workers at South London and Maudsley NHS to receive 2.3% pay award
Employee Benefits: Members of the trade union GMB working for healthcare management services organisation ISS at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) are to receive a pay award of 2.3% following a vote for strike action. Read story

54% are concerned about decision-making when accessing pension benefits
Employee Benefits: Uncertainty about how to make the best decisions when accessing pension benefits topped the list of employees’ concerns regarding retirement, cited by 54% of respondents in research conducted by Employee Benefits and Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Strike called off as Shelter employees accept 4% pay increase
Employee Benefits: Employees of housing and homeless charity Shelter have called off strike action scheduled to start today (11 December 2018) after accepting an improved pay offer of 4%. Read story

No-deal Brexit could add £219bn to buyout deficit
Professional Pensions: Crashing out of the European Union without a deal could cause a 37% increase in the aggregate buyout deficit for defined benefit (DB) schemes, says Cardano. Read story

TPR launches first fraud prosecution; Accountant suspected of taking cash from scheme
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched its first fraud prosecution into an accountant suspected of taking money from a pension scheme. Read story

PPF: DB schemes edge into surplus for first time since 2011
Professional Pensions: Defined benefit (DB) schemes ended November in an aggregate surplus position for the first time since 2011, according to Pension Protection Fund (PPF) figures. Read story

TPR launches first fraud prosecution
Corporate Adviser: Preston-based accountant accused of fraudulently transferring more than £200,000 of pension funds. Read story

Pay staff the ‘real’ Living Wage, investors urge FTSE 250 firms
Personnel Today: A group of investors has written to FTSE 250 companies urging them to commit to paying their staff at least the “real” Living Wage. Read story

Biggest rise in average pay since 2008, but growth remains slow
Personnel Today: Average weekly earnings have seen the biggest rise for almost a decade, but not to the levels expected during periods of low unemployment. Read story

Employees sharing health concerns with colleagues over loved ones
Health Insurance Daily: Half of employees in the UK say they speak to colleagues about health concerns before sharing it with a partner or loved one, a poll shows. Read story

Hospital admissions for stress and anxiety soar among office workers
Health Insurance Daily: There has been a surge in the number of hospital admissions for stress and anxiety among white collar workers, an analysis shows. Read story

CMA issues final report; Schemes must invite three firms in fiduciary management tender
Professional Pensions: Tenders for first-time fiduciary management mandates will be mandatory, must be conducted on a closed basis, and will apply to any mandate for over 20% of a scheme's assets, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed. Read story

No-deal Brexit could add £219bn to buyout deficit
Professional Pensions: Crashing out of the European Union without a deal could cause a 37% increase in the aggregate buyout deficit for defined benefit (DB) schemes, says Cardano. Read story

Advised platforms missing out on DB bonanza
Money Marketing: Boosting the slow rate of growth of the average pot size on advised platforms requires an “extraordinary and sustained” increase in defined benefit transfers, according to The Lang Cat. Read story

Total pay increased by 1.1% in real terms since October 2017
Employee Benefits: Total pay for employees in Great Britain, including bonuses, increased by 1.1% between August to October 2017 and August to October 2018, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

Bloomberg and CA Technologies recognised as 2018’s top employers for gender equality
Employee Benefits: IT services business Atos, software, data and media organisation Bloomberg and global technology firm CA Technologies (pictured) are among those recognised on the Top 10 gender inclusive employers 2018 list, compiled by diversity jobs board Vercida. Read story

Market welcomes 'real teeth' in 'thorough' CMA final report
Professional Pensions: The Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) final report on the investment consultant market has been celebrated as having "real teeth" to produce better outcomes for members. Read story

The four zones of team engagement and how to make the best of them
Personnel Today: Despite a huge body of research into employee engagement, little has focused on team dynamics. A team at Ashridge Executive Education has identified four zones of employee engagement in teams, but how can organisations identify these zones and use this knowledge to boost productivity? Read story

Wednesday half-days could boost productivity
HR Magazine: While many aren't prepared for a four-day week, businesses support the idea of an afternoon off on a Wednesday, according to research from Kin&Co. Read story

Businesses must act now to meet the April 2019 payslip deadline
HR Magazine: Next April will see the introduction of payslip changes that will affect all employers. Read story

Latest figures on wages and employment ‘do not reflect Brexit uncertainty’
People Management: Employment and wage growth up, but ‘crisis’ could hit labour market in the new year, say economists. Read story

More than 1.4 million employers complete auto-enrolment duties
Employee Benefits: Around 1.4 million (1,418,680) UK employers have completed their pensions auto-enrolment duties as at November 2018, according to research by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Read story

Brighton-based Wetherspoon employees win pay rise following strike action
Employee Benefits: Employees working for popular pub chain Wetherspoon in Brighton have received a pay increase in response to strike action conducted in October 2018. Read story

More than half of employers have delved deeper into gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: More than half (57%) of organisations have conducted additional analysis to identify drivers behind their gender pay gap figures, and 9% are looking to carry out an equal pay audit, according to bi-annual research by reward management consultancy Paydata. Read story

Monese gains living wage accreditation
Employee Benefits: Mobile banking organisation Monese has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation. Read story

Check if your scheme is a master trust, TPR urges
Professional Pensions: Schemes risk breaking the law and being forced to wind up as The Pensions Regulator (TPR) warns some may be master trusts but do not know so. Read story

'Healthy' life expectancy falls for women but improves for men
Professional Pensions: Females can expect to live a greater number of years in poor health than males, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for 2015 to 2017. Read story

National survey reveals untapped potential for 'on-the-spot' rewards
HR Grapevine: New data from an extensive survey among HR professionals and employees in large enterprises reveals a large gap of untapped potential for on-the-spot rewards, with many employees unaware of the rewards they could receive. Read story

All Transact staff to become shareholders after IPO success
Money Marketing: All staff at platform Transact will receive shares in its parent company IntegraFin following the success of its March flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Read story

Nic Cicutti: Spectre of DB transfer scandal looms larger than ever before
Money Marketing: New FCA findings suggest advisers should prepare for significantly higher FSCS contributions at least. Read story

Is HR neglecting its own mental health?
HR Magazine: Mental health is firmly on employers’ agendas. But are HRDs taking on too much while neglecting their own mental wellbeing? Read story




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