Case study: Svitzer steers staff to investments

International towage and salvage company Svitzer implemented a corporate platform from Hargreaves Lansdown in July 2011 after closing its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.

Its primary aim was to replace the myriad trust and contract-based pension schemes it had inherited after a number of acquisitions with one defined contribution (DC) scheme that was more attractive than a standard company pension scheme. Accordingly, Hargreaves Lansdown created a platform featuring a self-invested personal pension (Sipp), for which employees can choose the default fund or make their own investment selections; an individual savings account (Isa); and a fund and share account.

Employees contributing more than 15% into the Sipp are able to contribute additional funds into an Isa rather than the pension scheme, which enables them to invest through payroll into a short-term savings vehicle, thus avoiding having to lock away their money until retirement.

As part of the service, Hargreaves Lansdown has provided Svitzer employees with a range of financial education to help them understand the offering and its benefits, and a range of interactive tools with which to manage their investments on a bespoke website. The results speak for themselves: 570 employees have joined the Sipp, which is 10% up on membership to Svitzer’s previous schemes; 25% have selected their own investments rather than using the default fund; and 5% of members have so far joined the corporate Isa through payroll.†

Svitzer was the winner of the ‘Most effective pensions change strategy’ at the Employee Benefits Awards 2012 for its launch of a corporate wrap.

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