Legislation case study – Benfield aids IFA access

Benfield, the independent reinsurance and risk intermediary, is working with employees to ensure they fully understand the changes around pensions simplification.

It has arranged for those who are likely to be affected by the changes, such as high earners who have exceeded or are close to the £1.5m lifetime allowance, and those who are within three years of their contractual retirement age, to receive one-to-one sessions with an independent financial adviser (IFA). Benfield is contributing up to £1,000 to the cost of the financial advice sessions.

The rest of its staff have access to a website which has in-depth questions and answers on pensions simplification.

It also incorporates a pensions modeller, which allows employees to analyse the impact of investing different amounts of money in their pension funds.

Jim Harwood, pension and benefits manager at Benfield, explained: "We are trying to encourage employees to become more engaged with benefits, pensions and the implications of pensions simplification [changes], so we have provided the online tools so that staff become more hands on."

In October 2005, Benfield introduced a new group personal pension plan and is currently in the process of transferring employees in its original contracted-in money purchase scheme to the new plan.

The group personal pension is a non-contribution pension into which Benfield makes contributions ranging from 7.5% for employees under 24 years, to 30% for employees over 55 years.