EXCLUSIVE: More than half provide season ticket travel loans

EXCLUSIVE: The most common workplace savings benefit is the season ticket travel loan, provided by 52% of organisations, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Benefits research 2019 report, which surveyed 290 HR professionals, was published in May 2019. It found that, of those that provide season ticket travel loans, 30% offer this as a core benefit to all staff.

In 2018, travel loans were only offered by 44% of employers, suggesting that, with rising commuting costs becoming an increasing concern when it comes to staff financial wellbeing, help with travel is becoming even more of a must-have.

Financial education (41%) and financial advice (35%) are the next most popular finance-related benefits offered to staff.

Access to advice has seen a particularly significant increase, as last year this was only provided by 12% of respondents overall. This year, employers that offer financial education and advice still predominantly provide it as a core benefit, available to all staff.

Despite these shifts, the top three financial benefits have remained steady over the years, with season ticket travel loans, financial education and financial advice taking the top spots in 2016 as well.

Across the board, only a small proportion of employers offer financial benefits as part of either a flexible or voluntary scheme, preferring to provide them to all staff. At its highest, the number of organisations providing a voluntary financial benefit only reaches 11%, with the season ticket travel loan.

In some cases, this has changed significantly since last year. For example, among those employers that offered student grants and loan repayments in 2018, a quarter of them did so on a voluntary basis. This year, however, only 1% of respondents overall, equating to 10% of those that do offer this benefit, provide it as part of a voluntary offering.

The practice of providing financial perks as part of a core offering, but to only some staff, also appears to be on a downward trend. Most significantly, a quarter of those organisations that provide mortgage subsidies do so for only some staff, whereas last year this figure stood at 50%.

Where employers do not offer certain financial benefits, the majority do not plan to start. For example, only 14% of those that do not offer financial education state that their organisation plans to bring it in; this falls to 10% among those that do not offer financial advice, and 2% for season ticket loans, despite their increased popularity in recent years.

Click to download Employee BenefitsBenefits research 2019