EXCLUSIVE: 44% of employers support staff at retirement

EXCLUSIVE: 44% of employers support staff at retirement

Just over two-fifths (44%) of respondents to this year’s research stated that their organisation supports staff at an employee’s retirement life stage according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Pensions research 2020, which surveyed 94 pension strategy decision-makers found that this is compared to the 46% of respondents that stated the same in 2019, 39% in 2018 and 40% in 2017. The move from work to retirement can be a significant change for individuals, requiring some crucial financial decisions. Offering support with these, therefore, may result in improved outcomes for some employees.

Where respondents offer at-retirement support, the most common form continues to be the offer of access to financial advice. This year, this is offered by 59% of respondents, compared to 53% in 2019, 56% in 2018 and 61% in 2017.

Although this year’s numbers are relatively small, the top two reasons for respondents to offer at-retirement support have remained unchanged over the past few years. Wanting to support staff in making informed decisions and regarding it as part of their duty of care, remain employers’ primary motivations in offering such support.

Conversely, offering at-retirement support in order to be seen as an employer of choice, however, appears to have fallen in popularity over the past few years. Just two years ago in 2018, more than half (51%) said this was a primary driver behind their implementation of at-retirement support. This has subsequently fallen to 34% in 2019 and 28% this year. The primary parties responsible for providing at-retirement support have also remained unchanged over the past few years. HR, benefits, reward, and learning and development professionals remain the most likely to do so, as is the case among 52% of respondents.

Running retirement seminars 12 months ahead of individuals’ planned retirement date and the use of online modelling tools also remain popular. This year, however, has seen a rise in the popularity of smartphone or tablet apps, which has increased by nine percentage points to 17%.

This may reflect the working landscape during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, which saw many employers look for virtual tools to support their workforce. They are followed by pension providers (44%), independent financial advisers (26%), benefits consultants (22%) and the in-house pensions team (19%). Where employers do not offer at retirement support, 39% of respondents say this is due to lack of resources, while 27% believe it is their pension provider’s responsibility. A further 21% do not have the budget to do so and 18% do not believe it is their responsibility.

The proportion of respondents that offer at-retirement support

Respondents’ attitudes to supporting staff at retirement