Wasabi introduces stakeholder pension scheme

EXCLUSIVE: Wasabi has introduced a stakeholder pension scheme in preparation for its auto-enrolment staging date at the end of 2013.

This is the first time the sushi and noodle bar has offered staff a pension scheme.

The scheme is being rolled out to its 950 employees in three phases. The first two phases, which began on 1 July 2012, opened the scheme to about 13 senior management staff, followed by around 100 who are employees at head office or chefs.

The rest of the workforce will be able to join the scheme around July 2013, as Wasabi approaches its auto-enrolment staging date.

Nikki Phillips, HR manager at Wasabi, said: “We are communicating auto-enrolment, but we don’t fall into line with it until the end of next year.

“We could have waited until the last minute to do it, but we wanted to show it as a benefit and show employees that we want them to think about their futures.”

Pension scheme communications have started for all employees, with group presentations and one-to-one meetings provided by benefits adviser Secondsight.

Phillips said: “We worked with Secondsight to make sure everyone has attended group presentations. Every single employee has had a one-to-one session. Following that, they have had the choice to join or not to join.”

The one-to-one sessions took place in Wasabi’s head office and at its Oxford Street branch. The organisation brought in translators to deal with any language barriers.

“If they wanted to ask questions, they could use the translators,” said Phillips. “After the first week, we were able to adapt the presentations, based on employee questions, and to introduce a Q&A sheet.”

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