At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week

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 16-22 September 2016

Reward & employee benefits press headlines

Shell becomes latest scheme to push electronic comms
Pensions Expert: The Shell Contributory Pension Fund has begun requesting email addresses from members as it takes the first step towards electronic communication, the latest in a long line of schemes to do so. Read story

Royal Mail diversifies alternatives ahead of planned scheme closure
Pensions Expert: The Royal Mail Pension Plan has diversified the alternatives investments in its portfolio, adding new private debt and infrastructure funds, while almost eliminating its exposure to equities in one of its sections. Read story

Govt to pay Lifetime Isa bonus monthly
Money Marketing: The Treasury has announced the Lifetime Isa government bonus will be paid monthly rather than at the end of the tax year. Read story

More than 1.1 million people working beyond age 65
Health Insurance Daily: The number of people aged 65 and over who are still working has reached 1.19 million, government statistics show. Read story

Government committee launches inquiry into corporate governance
HR Magazine: MPs are looking for evidence on executive pay and boardroom diversity. Read story

BBC charter requires disclosure of pay above £150,000
Employee Benefits: The BBC will have to publish the details of all employees who earn more than £150,000 a year in reforms laid out in the draft BBC royal charter and updated framework agreement. Read story

Bonus payments reach £44.3bn
Employee Benefits: The combined value of bonus payments made in Great Britain in the financial year ending March 2016 reached £44.3 billion, 4.4% higher than the previous year, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

John Lewis blames national living wage for profit plunge
People Management: Retailer warns of job losses to fund salary rises, but government expected to resist calls to rethink further increases. Read story

John Lewis’s pension deficit rises 54.4%
Professional Pensions: John Lewis Partnership’s defined benefit (DB) deficit has increased to £1.5bn as the company reveals a 15% profit fall for the second half of the year. Read story

Deloitte introduces paid family leave programme
Reward Guide: Deloitte is offering 16 weeks of paid family leave to help individuals with varied family structures. Read story

Ask the expert: your benefits questions answered
Reward Guide: A key challenge for many time-pressed and financially constrained HRs is actually to find out the information they need about employee benefits, and understand what the ROI will be for their company, before embarking on serious expenditure. Read story

More middle earners breaching pensions lifetime allowance
People Management: Savers taxed £126m last year, with London-based staff hit hardest – but a third of 35 to 39-year-olds have no pension savings at all. Read story

Clegg calls for triple lock reform to lower public finance burden
Professional Pensions: The triple lock on the state pension should be kept but reformed to make it more sustainable, according to Nick Clegg. Read story

Building pension dashboards: The challenges ahead
Professional Pensions: A pension dashboard prototype will be launched by March 2017. Jonathan Stapleton and Helen Morrissey find out what the project is all about. Read story

BBC charter requires disclosure of pay above £150,000
Employee Benefits: The BBC will have to publish the details of all employees who earn more than £150,000 a year in reforms laid out in the draft BBC royal charter and updated framework agreement. Read story

Hachette UK introduces financial education workshops for under 30s
Employee Benefits: Publishing group Hachette UK has introduced targeted financial education workshops to address the financial issues of most concern to employees under 30. Read story

Raising the bar on trusteeship
Professional Pensions: The regulator is considering a number of ways to raise governance standards and ensure trustees are fit for purpose in the 21st century. Stephanie Baxter looks at what the industry makes of it all. Read story

Could factor-based investing improve value for money in DC?
Professional Pensions: The 0.75% charge cap is forcing DC schemes to be creative in their investment strategy to generate adequate returns for members. One possible approach is factor-based investing, writes Michael Klimes. Read story

36% to review impact of Brexit-related currency devaluation on globally mobile staff
Employee Benefits: More than a third (36%) of employer respondents have either reviewed or plan to review the cost impact of currency devaluation following the Brexit vote on their globally mobile employees, according to research by Mercer. Read story

TPR: Trustees must hold TPAs to account on cyber security
Professional Pensions: Trustees must ensure they hold third-party administrators (TPAs) to account on cyber security, says The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) chief executive Lesley Titcomb. Read story

Australia’s experience does not bode well for Lisa, says expert
Professional Pensions: An Australian pensions expert has expressed his reservations about the timing and design of the lifetime Isa (Lisa) at the Society of Pension Professionals’ (SPP) annual conference. Read story

Remote working can be a mixed blessing for both employers and employees
People Management: But setting clear ground rules and treating employees fairly will help employers avoid the risks associated with unconventional working arrangements. Read story

NHS doctors must declare income from private work
Personnel Today: Senior NHS doctors and managers in England will have to declare any income they receive from private work, it has been revealed. Read story

Lord Flight: Brexit will allow us to dump EU pensions legislation
Professional Pensions: A Tory peer believes European Union (EU) pensions legislation will “fall away” when Brexit materialises and argues London has a bright future. Read story

TPR ‘already has enough ammunition’ to do its job
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) does not need additional powers to do its job properly and legislators should avoid knee-jerk legislation, according to a lawyer. Read story

Government opens consultation on amending definition of financial advice
Professional Pensions: The government has opened its consultation on amending the UK definition of financial advice to give firms "the confidence to develop better and more tailored guidance services to help customers make informed financial decisions”. Read story

Saga’s deficit swells by 153% in six months
Professional Pensions: The funding deficit of Saga’s defined benefit (DB) scheme grew by £28.8m over the six months to 31 July on the back of bond yield falls. Read story

Ongoing legal cases could impact employers’ pay and benefits strategies
Employee Benefits: A number of developments in employment-related legal cases took place over the summer, the results of which could have a potentially significant impact on employers’ benefits strategies. Read story

What to expect from the forthcoming pensions bill
Pensions Expert: Since the Pensions Act 2004 there have been six acts of parliament dealing with pensions policy – and this does not include the various finance acts that have changed the pensions tax regime. Read story

Old Mutual launches financial education programme for staff
Employee Benefits: International investments and savings organisation Old Mutual has launched a personalised financial education programme for its 200 employees. Read story

66% of managers believe the average retirement age will increase in their organisation
Employee Benefits: Two thirds (66%) of manager respondents believe the average age of retirement in their organisation will increase over the next five to 10 years, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare. Read story

57% of millennials cite reward for effort as a priority
Employee Benefits: More than half (57%) of millennial respondents cite reward for effort in the workplace as a top priority, according to research by Edenred. Read story

LGPS guidance opens doors for both investment and future meddling
Pensions Expert: Local government pension schemes will enjoy greater flexibility with their investment arrangements, guidance on forthcoming regulation indicates, but concerns remain about the scope for government intervention. Read story

Walmart US awards $200 million in cash bonuses to staff
Employee Benefits: American retailer Walmart has awarded a total of $200 million (£154,055,908) in second quarter cash bonuses to over 900,000 employees across the US. Read story

80% do not take time off for stress-related illnesses
Employee Benefits: More than three quarters (80%) of respondents would not take time off work for a stress-related illness, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance. Read story

Singapore is the top destination for expatriates
Employee Benefits: Singapore is the best overall destination for expatriates, according to research by HSBC. Read story

Why Anthony Hilton is wrong about defined benefit pensions
Professional Pensions: Journalist Anthony Hilton’s recent article on pension deficits has prompted a lot of debate. Dan Mikulskis puts forward his view. Read story

Active pension membership returns to 11.1m all-time high
Professional Pensions: The number of active members of occupational schemes has returned to the record high set 33 years ago, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

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