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 5-11 June 2015.

Scheme members left waiting on Friends access failure
Corporate Adviser: Friends Life has apologised to 1,300 customers who have not been able to flexibly access their pension because its systems have not been updated to allow partial withdrawals. Read story

Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland gets £596,000 bonus
The Telegraph: He was also awarded shares worth £2.4m, taking his total remuneration to £4.5m. Read story

Scottish Government accredited as Living Wage employer
CIPP: Enhanced productivity, reduced absenteeism and better staff morale are just some of the benefits highlighted from new independent research of the Living Wage. Read story

Four in ten staff believe their job damages their health
Workplace Savings & Benefits: 41% feel their job is detrimental to their health with 44% saying they receive inadequate support from their employer in leading a healthy lifestyle. Read story

Lloyds slashes bonuses after £117m PPI fine
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Lloyds Banking Group is cutting its bonus pool by £30m and withholding £2.65m in share awards from its senior executives. Read story

A third of UK workers without sick pay - LV=
Cover: Of the 11m, 8m are employed by a company but would only receive statutory sick pay if they fell ill, £88.45 per week, over £300 less than the average UK weekly pay of £409. Read story

TPR to probe DC scheme managers on charge cap compliance
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The Pensions Regulator is set to assess whether or not managers and trustees of defined contribution (pension schemes have applied the 0.75% charge cap which came into effect in April. Read story

Evidera achieves cost-neutral flexible benefits scheme
Employee Benefits: Evidera has achieved a cost-neutral flexible benefits scheme in the first 10 months of launch after £100,000 worth of investment. Read story

Wages in London grow faster than in the rest of the country
City AM: A Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG survey found that wages for permanent employees in London increased for the twenty-fourth successive month in May. Read story

Ceridian launches reward and recognition platform
Employee Benefits: Payroll and HR software provider Ceridian, has launched an employee reward and recognition platform. Read story

Employee engagement reaches three-year high
Employee Benefits: The engagement figures in the CIPD’s Employee outlook 2015 survey, which had 2,226 employee respondents, showed a significant improvement from 2014 (38%) and 2013 (35%). Read story

Auto-enrolled low earners denied tax relief
Corporate Adviser: Low earners just above the earnings trigger saving in trust-based arrangements are missing out on tax relief because their schemes operate on a net pay basis, it has emerged. Read story

DC schemes asked to confirm compliance with charge controls
Corporate Adviser: Trustees and managers of occupational defined contribution pension schemes will be asked to confirm whether or not they comply with new charge controls in their scheme return to The Pensions Regulator. Read story

Tate & Lyle sweetens deficit pill with secured funding move
Pensions Expert: Sugar company Tate & Lyle reduced its defined benefit liability by £52m in 2014, helped by the creation of a secured funding account as a contingency to its core employer contributions. Read story

Pensions regulator urged to boost transparency on auto-enrol fines
Money Marketing: The Pensions Regulator is being urged to publish the details of the fines it imposes on firms which do not comply with auto-enrolment rules. Read story

Most GPs and employers unaware of Fit for Work
Corporate Adviser: Research carried out amongst more than 1,000 GPs on behalf of Cigna found 61 per cent are not aware of the service, and of those who are, over a third have not yet made their minds up about whether they will use. Read story

FCA confirms pension transfer qualifications overhaul
Money Marketing: The FCA has published its final rules on pension transfers, which takes effect from today, including a climbdown on occupational transfers without safeguards. Read story

Virgin Management offers a year's parental leave on full pay
Employee Benefits: Virgin Management has introduced a year’s full pay for employees taking maternity, paternity or adoption leave once staff have accrued four years’ service with the organisation. Read story

Clyde and Co, Deutsche Bank and Npower promote National Carers' Week
Employee Benefits: Clyde and Co, Deutsche Bank, Mercer, Npower and Suffolk County Council are among a number of employers that are promoting the benefits that they offer to support working carers during National Carers’ Week. Read story

35% who have used pension freedoms are still working
Employee Benefits: Around a third (35%) of workers who accessed the pension freedoms in the first month after they came into effect in April 2015 were still working at the time, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown. Read story

Santander communicates through defined benefit pension changes
Employee Benefits: Santander used effective communications and managed trade union engagement to win employee buy-in for its extensive pension scheme change. Read story

Only 6% of jobs advertised in the UK mention flexible working
HR magazine: Only 6.2% of jobs advertised in the UK mention flexible working options, according to a national study by flexibility experts Timewise. Read story

Employers need to reach out to the “invisible carers”
Pay & Benefits: Employers risk losing their best talent if they do not support the “invisible carers” in their workplace, according to My Family Care. Read story

A third of employees feel work–life balance is unsupported
Pay & Benefits: Nearly 40 per cent of employees feel that they do not have a good work–life balance, according to research by Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Work perks most valued by millennials
Pay & Benefits: Workers from the millennial generation value work perks more than employees from generation X and baby boomers, according to a study by Robert Walters. Read story

UK employees among the unhappiest in Europe
Pay & Benefits: Employees are not as happy or motivated in the UK as they are in many other European countries, according to research for pre-pay business Edenred. Read story

Most employees unaware of pension freedoms
Pay & Benefits: More than three employees in five are either oblivious to the new pension freedoms or have little understanding of how they are affected by them, according to a survey by Towers Watson. Read story

Pepsi rolls out CBT potentially saving £200k a year
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Pepsi is rolling out a mental health service that cuts absence and could potentially save the business £200,000 a year. Read story

Everton FC kicks-off employee wellbeing revamp
Workplace Savings & Benefits: As part of the process the Premier League team is conducting an independent survey of its staff - the first football club to do so. Read story

Maritime industry pension and life assurance scheme unveiled
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Members will be able to take part in a new industry-wide group life assurance arrangement, which will be operated by Creative Benefits with the underlying policy held with Canada Life. Read story

17,000 Tata Steel staff to strike over pensions
Workplace Savings & Benefits: More than 17,000 Tata Steel employees will strike on 22 June in an ongoing dispute over the organisation’s pension scheme changes. Read story

NAPF appoints Lesley Williams new chair
Workplace Savings & Benefits: She will succeed Ruston Smith, whose two-year tenure will end at the NAPF’s annual general meeting (AGM) in October 2015. Williams will assume her responsibilities after the AGM for a two-year term. Read story

Centralising global benefits held back by operational realities
Employee Benefits: Multinational employers are building infrastructures to manage employee benefits globally by centralising benefits decision making, according to research by Aon Global Benefits. Read story

Webb: Salary sacrifice could be cut in July Budget
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Steve Webb has warned that the Conservative government may target the £15bn salary sacrifice bill in its July emergency Budget. Read story

NI Prison Service uses anonymous eyecare vouchers
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The service, which employs more than 6,000 people, extended the eyecare service to include full eye examinations and options to upgrade from single-vision to bi-focal or varifocal lenses. Read story

Employers do not have skills to support mental health
Workplace Savings & Benefits: According to research from Health Assured 83% of bosses do not know how best to support employees with mental health issues. Read story

Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes notifications
CIPP: HMRC has published the latest update to the Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes notifications. Read story

Chipotle offer part-time employees paid sick leave, vacations and tuition fees
HR Grapevine: The American restaurant chain has recently announced that they plan to offer paid sick leave, full holidays and even reimbursement for tuition to both full time and hourly workers, commencing on July 1st. Read story

Pay reaches £100,000 for over 400 TFL staff
Employee Benefits: The number of employees working for Transport for London (TFL) earning a total remuneration package over £100,000 has reached more than 400 for the first time. Read story

Just 6% of jobs offer flexible working
Employee Benefits: Only 6% of full-time job roles with a salary of more than £20,000 offer workers the option of flexible working, according to research by flexible hiring specialist Timewise. Read story

Northern Bank Pension Scheme agrees £680m buy-in with Pru
Professional Pensions: The Northern Bank Pension Scheme has entered into a £680m buy-in with Prudential, marking the largest bulk annuity deal agreed so far this year. Read story

Dentist multi-employer specialist to auto-enrol with Aon’s Littleblue
Professional Pensions: The dental industry’s multi-employer specialist Denplan has selected Aon Employee Benefit’s Littleblue solution for auto-enrolment (AE). Read story

Webb's sal sac warning prompts 12% contribution hike fears
Corporate Adviser: The Treasury could use the July Budget to abolish salary sacrifice, a move that would save it £15bn a year, former pensions minister has told an audience of HR professionals. Read story

ABI clashes with pensions minister over freedoms access
Money Marketing: Writing in the Daily Mail, Altmann and economic secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said: “It is disappointing that some firms are lagging behind, and some providers have chosen to focus their efforts on far too narrow a range of options. Read story

ABI bites back at Altmann's 'heel-dragging' attack
Corporate Adviser: The ABI has hit back at accusations from pensions minister Ros Altmann that providers have failed to ‘get their act together’ to deliver freedom and choice flexibilities. Read story

Axa includes a range of benefits for staff travel
Employee Benefits: The insurer has a comprehensive company car policy, which offers all its employees the opportunity to have a company car. Read story

MEC UK improves employee wellbeing and motivation
Employee Benefits: Media advertising agency MEC UK has seen its staff health and wellbeing, productivity and motivation all improve in the first year of launching its ‘Smarter Working’ initiative. Read story

City interview: Red Letter Days saviour Bill Alexander who has come up trumps
Daily Mail: Alexander, 55, clearly enjoys a challenge. The avid poker fan insists he is not a gambler because he plays to win, but he certainly enjoys the buzz of a high-stakes, high-pressure situation. Read story

Tibbalds increases employee ownership to 60%
Employee Benefits: The consultancy introduced majority employee ownership earlier this month when its employee ownership trust (EOT) bought shares from the organisation’s four founders. Read story

Investors demand better reporting of staff management
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has called for greater transparency of workforce management practices including pay, benefits and the use of zero hour contracts. Read story

Majority lose £19k by shunning state pension deferral
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The vast majority of people do not defer taking their state pension, despite most being financially able to do so, losing out on as much as £19,000 extra retirement cash. Read story

People can earn as much as they need on zero hours contract, says Government minister
The Independent: Conservative business minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe defended the continuing legality of the contracts during a discussion in parliament. Read story

City jobs and pay growth boom as more workers look to move
City AM: The number of City jobs new to the market shot up by 13 per cent year-on-year in May, according to figures released today by recruiters Morgan McKinley. Read story

Using workspace design to attract and retain talent
HR Director: The UK is suffering a skills shortage. Nearly half of SMEs are struggling to recruit the right IT staff, financial services recruiters predict vacancies will rise by 15.7% and at the STEMtech conference in April, the need to recruit more talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is top of the agenda. Read story


News from outside the British press

Millennials more stressed over future retirement than retirees
BenefitsPro: Workers with the most time to prepare for retirement are the most stressed about their abilility to adequately save between now and their golden years, according to the most recent Merrill Edge report from Merrill Lynch. Read story

Working at Chipotle just got better for all its employees
MoneyBox: The fast-casual chain confirmed plans to improve benefits for all employees—including part-timers—starting July 1. Workers will get paid vacation time, sick leave, and 90 percent tuition reimbursement on the federal maximum of $5,250. Read story

Some firms report little value for money spent on worker benefits
The Nation: Thai companies are seeing a major gap between the money they spend on employee benefits and the value they get from them, according to Towers Watson. Read story

Shareholders rebuke Caterpillar over executive pay
Wall Street Journal: Around a third of the votes cast by Caterpillar Inc. shareholders at the annual meeting Wednesday morning rejected the heavy-equipment maker’s executive-compensation policies, an unusually stinging rebuke for such a poll. Read story

Wal-Mart says staff turnover down after hike in minimum pay
Reuters: Wal-Mart Stores has been losing fewer workers to turnover since it raised its minimum wage in April, the retailer's chief executive said on Friday, the first time it has reported a benefit of the new higher wages. Read story

The employee benefits that make a real difference
Fast Company: Beyond health insurance and 401(k) plans, some benefits have significant benefits to the company as well as the employees, say experts. Read story

Inadequate retirement savings a global issue
Employee Benefits Adviser: Getting workers to save more for retirement is a global necessity, according to a study by Aegon and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Read story

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