Reunite pensions and employee benefits using technology

Auto-enrolment (AE) has led to the successful introduction of around 11 million new savers into workplace pensions, with more people now participating in pension schemes than ever before.

Reuniting pensions and employee benefits using technology

However, AE seems to have shifted the remit of pensions into payroll, with many viewing it simply as a compliance function. This raises two major concerns:

  1. The automation of the joining process means there is often very little engagement with the pension scheme employees are saving into.
  2. With little engagement, members may not appreciate the role their pension scheme plays in their overall financial wellbeing.

Technology is here, make use of it

With research from Neyber revealing that 33 per cent of the workforce is still worried by financial concerns, it seems that current financial wellbeing strategies aren’t having a great impact.

There’s a direct link between financial worries, underperformance and absence: employers should be looking at all options to help their employees address these issues.

It’s fantastic to see that around 90 per cent of employers in REBA’s 2017/18 Technology Survey plan to become more involved with technology and strategic data or management information. And this got me thinking – how could technology play a part in getting employees and employers to stop viewing pensions as something they have to do for compliance, and start viewing it as part of their overall financial wellbeing strategy?

Make your benefits more visible

Your pension scheme plays an important role in your remuneration package. A technology driven benefits platform lets you hold your pension along with all your other benefits in one location, making access that much simpler for employees.

Promoting your pension, financial wellbeing and other benefits together also helps each have more visibility, showing your people the value you place on them. When viewing them together, an employee can come across other benefits which they didn’t know you offer, or be reminded of a benefit that’s become relevant to them.

Bring all your data together

Integrating your pension scheme with other benefits on a data-backed platform is a huge step forward for your employees and HR. Technology lets you instantly analyse employee activity and information, as and when it happens.

Questions that previously took hours or days to answer are now responded to instantly. This helps you to make informed decisions: you can follow up on trends you have identified in member behaviour without burning valuable time searching for information.

Use data to identify key moments

As I mentioned in the introduction, we run the risk of people thinking that being automatically enrolled into a pension scheme means their long-term financial goals are taken care of. A pension scheme plays a pivotal role in your employees’ long-term financial goals, but it takes time to achieve.

By gathering data on your workforce demographics, you can segment your audience, which leads to employees receiving more relevant messages. You can send information on retirement choices to your older workplace demographic, and information for those just starting to save into their pension pots can be sent to younger employees.

You can also identify key moments in each person’s working lifecycle and scheme membership, and issue personal communications based on individual circumstances. This lets your people take action and make decisions at the exact time they’re needed.

Final thoughts

It’s staggering to think that around £46 billion will be paid into company pension schemes this year. We must do everything we can to make sure our people understand the key role their pension scheme plays in their financial wellbeing. It’s a lot easier for us to achieve this if pensions and benefits work together.

Integrating your benefits in one centralised hub can play a key role in helping your employees improve their financial wellbeing. This approach means that whoever your employees are, whatever stage they’re at in their lives and whatever their needs are, you are able to help.

Author is David Roderick, development director at Johnson Fleming.

This article was provided by Johnson Fleming.

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