Expedia replaces group personal pension scheme with group Sipp

Expedia is to close its group personal pension (GPP) scheme and introduce a group self-invested personal pension (Sipp), with staff able to make contributions via salary sacrifice.

The change, which happens this month, will affect 900 staff in the UK, including those in two of Expedia’s other businesses, TripAdvisor and Egencia.

The GPP had been offered since 1999, when Expedia demerged from Microsoft. The travel reservation website decided to make the switch after a review with consultancy Towers Watson. Mirka Slater, EMEA benefits manager at Expedia, said: “We wanted a more up-to-date plan, so have arranged for a better deal in implementing the Sipp.”

During the review and change process, Expedia also negotiated reduced fund management charges with provider Aegon. Slater added: “Employees paid 1% of the fund pot previously and that has been negotiated down to 0.25%.”

Staff contribute a minimum of 3%, while Expedia contributes 5%. “Of their current contributions, [employees] have a 20% deduction, which is a national insurance payment that goes to the state second pension,” said Slater.

“By changing it to salary sacrifice, 100% of contributions will go into the pension plan.”
In September, employees will be given the option to transfer their old pension into the new scheme. Slater added:

“The GPP will not continue after August. Expedia has decided not to make any new contributions into the old plan after this date because the deal for the new plan is so good.”

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