Research update – Pensions concerns put HR under pressure

Final salary schemes, A-day (pensions simplification) changes and the Pension Protection Fund are among the top three pension concerns for human resources directors.

The findings from a survey conducted by Gissings show that HR directors are finding it difficult to address long-standing issues in relation to pensions.

The pressures associated with final salary plans, such as dealing with funding deficits, and ongoing costs and future liabilities, were cited by 21.31% of respondents as one of their top three concerns. Pensions simplification changes that were due to come into effect on A-day (6 April) also ranked highly with 10.66% of respondents putting them among their top three concerns followed by issues around the Pension Protection Fund, such as the levy (7.38%). More then 40 HR directors took part in the survey.

Andrew Dawson, head of sales and marketing at Gissings, said: "These issues are the result of structural changes and they are here to stay so HR directors have to deal with them.

"Quite rightly, HR directors do not want to knee jerk into closing down their scheme completely and we are experiencing an increasing number of enquiries from HR directors needing guidance on how to address deficits in final salary schemes. HR directors are looking for sustainable solutions and are desperate to avoid inflicting death by a thousand cuts on their pension plans because of the dreadful impact that approach would have on employee trust and morale."

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