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Auto-enrolment leading to benefit reforms


JLT Employee Benefits has conducted its most recent quarterly 250 Club survey of the top 250 UK firms, which revealed that auto-enrolment has led some firms to overhaul their entire benefit offerings, in an effort to better integrate auto-enrolment pensions with other benefits on offer.

JLT explained that the introduction of auto-enrolment has encouraged employers to reassess how they deliver benefits.

Because of this, more employers now recognise the added value of benefits in terms of supporting pensions and employee interest and awareness has also increased.

Almost three out of five (59%) used a benefits platform to manage auto-enrolment, a quarter of which were dedicated employee benefits platforms.

More than two-thirds (67%) of employers stated that auto-enrolment had changed their view of how employee benefits platforms can be used.

JLT also sought to assess how the UK’s improving economic picture had affected benefit programmes offered by companies, with a third (32%) providing ancillary benefits on top of the usual pay rises and 10% providing such benefits instead of pay rises.

JLT Employee Benefits Principal Nick Boyton explained that the introduction of auto-enrolment had led companies to think less in terms of salaries alone and to think instead in broader terms about total rewards packages.

Boyton went on to say that, as the economy continues to improve, companies were looking at various means to differentiate themselves from rival firms to attract and retain talented employees, beyond simply offering higher salaries.

Firms are spending time communicating about auto-enrolment and benefits to ensure employees both understand and appreciate them, he concluded.

Last month Jelf Employee Benefits commissioned research which found that 68% of employers may need to review their auto-enrolment pension scheme, in the wake of a DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) consultation.

Head of Benefits Strategy Steve Herbert said that, whilst Jelf had no problems with minimum standards, firms may find it a challenge to comply within the timelines set.

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