Protecting their futures and those of their families will continue to be an increasing area of importance for current and future employees. Paul Holt, a Chartered Financial Planner within Albert Goodman Financial Planning, gives his thoughts on the subject.
For most employers, a Workplace pension is the traditional route to address retirement savings for employees. Pensions have always been a way to gain greater employee engagement, with the ability to build pension benefits over and above the statutory state pension. They have also been an established way of supporting future succession planning for staff.
However, it is important to think about each employee as an individual. Younger staff will have different needs to those in their thirties to fifties, and those nearing retirement. Having the ability to offer bespoke packages is a clear way to add value for staff and their financial wellbeing, with pensions being more personalised to the individual’s needs.
Pension contributions made by the employer are treated as a trading expense, with the ability for corporation tax relief and reduced National Insurance. Similarly, the employee also benefits from the prospect of reduced tax and National Insurance costs.
The provision of a lump sum will provide peace of mind for employees in that should they die, their loved ones will have a degree of greater financial security. This benefit could be extended to that of critical illness, which will provide a lump sum in the event of a serious health condition arising.
Life assurance is something that many employees now expect to see as part of their remuneration package. For larger employers, a group life assurance policy, otherwise known as a Death in Service scheme, can make provision for staff on a block basis. However, there is scope to allow life assurance benefits to be more personalised using tax advantageous arrangements such as Relevant Life Plans (typically used in the context of bespoke planning for senior staff members).
It should also be recognised that pension arrangements, Death in Service schemes and Relevant Life Plans can, subject to the appropriate planning and advice, have the prospect to remain outside of the individual’s estate at point of death. This could help when addressing a potential future inheritance tax cost.
Creating a solution
Using both pension and life assurance benefits as part of an employee’s total remuneration will allow the employer to create a benefits package to both attract and retain staff.
Using these key areas will also allow for better integration with staff, ensuring that the benefits offered reflect the employee’s intrinsic value to the business whilst comparing favourably with the open market.
The best advice I can give is for you to speak to a suitably qualified Chartered Financial Planner who will guide you through the options available. Albert Goodman specialise in this area and our team will listen to your needs, designing a life and pension benefit package that your employees will truly value.