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 27 May - 2 June 2016

Why steelworker haircut better than PPF – Hymans

Corporate Adviser: British Steel Pension Scheme members will on the whole be better off under the Government’s proposals than if they entered the PPF, according to analysis from Hymans Robertson. Read story

Treasury ‘severe shock’ Brexit warning for pensions

Corporate Adviser: Pensioners will be worse off if the UK votes to leave the EU, the Chancellor has said, with both state pension and DC arrangements degraded under a Brexit. Read story

Dress codes and special event policies go into HR Room 101

HR Magazine: Inji Duducu and Gary Cookson banish their most hated HR policies to Room 101. Read story

Pension exit charges under scrutiny

Employee Benefits: Exit charges on occupational pension schemes could be scrapped as part of new proposals launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read story

32% do not feel proud of their organisation

Employee Benefits: Just under a third of respondents do not feel proud of their organisation, according to research by Edenred. Read story

Scottish Widows completes £54m bulk annuity transaction

Employee Benefits: Scottish Widow has secured a £54 million pensioner buy-in arrangement with the Barloworld UK Pension Scheme. Read story

Landmark transgender case a ‘warning’ to every organisation

People Management: Experts say lack of employee awareness is an inadequate excuse when it comes to discrimination. Read story

Government warns pensions could be hit hard by EU decision 

People Management: Pensions minister points to post-Brexit market ‘uncertainty’ and opens consultation that could lead to cuts in payouts for members of defined-benefit schemes. Read story

Govt plans major overhaul of British Steel scheme

Professional Pensions: The government has published proposals to keep the British Steel Pension Scheme out of the PPF while reducing its liabilities to make Tata Steel UK more attractive to buyers. Stephanie Baxter explores the options. Read story

Does the PPF need an early warning system for troubled schemes?

Professional Pensions: Events this year have raised the issue of whether the industry and trustees should give earlier warnings to the regulator and PPF about issues with DB schemes. Kristian Brunt-Seymour looks at the options. Read story

Should trustees have more powers to hold sponsors to account?

Professional Pensions: The BHS case has raised questions about the powers of trustees to hold sponsors to account. Michael Klimes looks at whether they should have more control. Read story

A quarter of savers reject pension savings engagement

Professional Pensions: More than a quarter of savers (28%) have never reviewed their retirement savings, according to figures from Aviva. Read story

A third feel ignored by their boss

HR Magazine: Almost one in three (30%) employees feel their boss does not recognise or reward their good work. Read story

Employers relying on ‘knee-jerk approach' for staff with cancer

Cover Magazine: Employers are being left exposed to the fallout from cancer cases by a lack of specific planning, support and management according to research conducted among 500 HR professionals. Read story

Government consults on British Steel pension scheme

Employee Benefits: The government has launched a consultation into potential government support options for the British Steel pension scheme. Read story

Just 30 per cent of UK workers take proper lunch breaks

People Management: Experts warn working through lunch is ‘another form of presenteeism’. Read story

Select committee to launch inquiry into whole DB universe

Professional Pensions: The Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) is launching a probe into the long term viability of the UK’s 6,000 defined benefit (DB) schemes. Read story

CFOs fear DB asset sell-off to meet cashflow needs

Professional Pensions: Chief financial officers (CFOs) are concerned they may have to sell their defined benefit (DB) assets at reduced prices to meet pension payments according to Hymans Robertson. Read story

John Lewis cuts staff perks

Reward Guide: Following the national living wage, John Lewis is cutting employee benefits. Read story

High court ruling could open the floodgates to pension scammers

Reward Guide: Will your employees know how to spot a scam when moving their retirement savings? Read story

Fiona Matthews: Time for the regulators to nudge master trust consolidation

Corporate Adviser: There are simple steps policymakers can take to quickly improve oversight of master trusts, says Fiona Matthews, managing director of Willis Towers Watson’s LifeSight master trust. Read story

Darren Philp: Why we need an Office for Pensions Responsibility

Corporate Adviser: The confusion around the policy intent behind the Lifetime Isa highlights why we need long-term thinking on retirement savings, says The People’s Pension director of policy and market engagement Darren Philp. Read story

FTSE 350 DC analysis shows diversification shift

Corporate Adviser: The diversification of the average portfolio composition of a FTSE 350 DC fund is now at a three-year high, indicating a shift in investment strategies to a broader range of asset classes, according to a report from Schroders. Read story

Tata pension writedown plan will not be used for other DB schemes

Money Marketing: A Government proposal to override pension scheme rules to slash benefits and help save the Port Talbot steel works will not be extended to other schemes. Read story

Herbert Smith Freehills introduces return-to-work scheme for female lawyers

Employee Benefits: Herbert Smith Freehills has introduced a return-to-work programme to support experienced female lawyers who are looking to return to private practice after an extended career break. Read story

SGS launches long-service award for employees

Employee Benefits: SGS UK has launched a recognition programme to reward employees who have been with the organisation for five years or more. Read story

58% value phased retirement globally

Employee Benefits: More than half (58%) of global respondents feel that phased retirement is a very or extremely important occupational benefit, according to research by the Aegon Centre for Longevity and Retirement (ACLR) and the Transamerica Centre for Retirement Studies. Read story

British Steel overhaul could slash liabilities by £4bn

Professional Pensions: Government proposals to reduce inflation protection for the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) could reduce its liabilities by an extra £1.5bn than experts have anticipated. Read story

DB deficits hit record £310bn in May

Professional Pensions: Total deficits of defined benefit (DB) schemes exceeded £300bn for the first time in May reaching record levels, according to JLT Employee Benefits. Read story

Industry must move to services model to deliver value for money

Professional Pensions: The pensions industry must move away from a product mind set to deliver better outcomes for members according to Jonathan Watts-Lay. Read story

Employers and workers should agree on triggers for auto-escalation

Professional Pensions: Aegon has called for the introduction of triggers for automatically increasing pension savings to tackle the issue of people not contributing enough. Read story

Shared parental leave: enhanced pay is key to take-up

Personnel Today: Employers that enhance shared parental pay are twice as likely to receive shared parental leave requests as those who offer the statutory rate, according to research released today by XpertHR Benchmarking. Read story

Martin Tilley: Exploit salary sacrifice before Govt clampdown

Money Marketing: Last year’s summer Budget raised a warning in respect of the use of salary sacrifice in exchange for additional pension provision. Read story

SAS Software offers choice and support to staff

Employee Benefits: For SAS Software, a key component of its benefits philosophy is that it offers its employees choice to enable them to pick benefits that support them throughout their career, while retaining a sense of being a paternalistic employer. Read story

Should you pay higher DC contributions to spur retirement?

Pensions Expert:  Lower employer contributions to defined contribution pension schemes can lead to “massive” challenges in paving the way for older workers to retire and injecting new blood into a business, experts have said. Read story

Old Mutual faces shareholder revolt over 'unusual' CEO pay package

Cover Magazine: Old Mutual is facing a shareholder rebellion after the group proposed a pay package for its chief executive equal to 1,000% of his base salary. Read story

UK suffering from absenteeism crisis

Reward Guide: Absenteeism is an issue currently costing the British economy approximately £100 billion. Read story

Formation Architects launches employee ownership trust

Employee Benefits: The London-based practice, which has 65 employees, has sold 100% of the shares owned by sole shareholder and former managing director Gordon Thomson to Formation Trustee Limited, the trustee of an employee ownership trust. Read story

Thorpe Park Leeds introduces bike health checks for staff

Employee Benefits: Thorpe Park Leeds business park has introduced a new monthly bicycle health check service for the 4,500 employees working on site. Read story

Post-Brexit fall in migration could reduce state pension

Professional Pensions: Reductions in annual EU migration in the event of Brexit could force the government to lower the state pension and further increase the age it can be accessed. Read story

Pension scheme data – it’s not sexy, but it’s essential

Professional Pensions: Samantha Coombs highlights the importance of keeping pension scheme data safe from cyber criminals. Read story

Business savvy trustees will not stop schemes falling into PPF

Professional Pensions: Trustees who understand sponsors' needs will not lead to lower likelihood of default according to PP research. Read story

We need to get rid of pensions jargon

Professional Pensions: Anne-Marie Winton believes the way we communicate with people about pensions can prevent engagement. Read story

DB deficits peak as Brexit uncertainty grows

Corporate Adviser: FTSE 350 DB accounting deficits hit a record high last month as uncertainty over Brexit and US elections created pressure on corporate bond yields says Mercer. Read story

Lukewarm response to Govt pension advice plan

Corporate Adviser: Almost two thirds of over 50s say they would be unlikely to use their pension savings to pay for advice, according to new research from Retirement Advantage. Read story

Labour’s Angela Rayner sets out her stall

Corporate Adviser: Concerned about pension freedoms, paternalistic on drawdown and critical of the new complexity of the Lifetime Isa, shadow pensions minister Angela Rayner sees plenty of blue water between her party and the Government. Read story



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