Gerald Eve sees increase in pensions take-up

Gerald Eve has seen an 11% increase in its pension membership and almost a quarter (24%) of employees have increased their pension contributions since it introduced a workplace savings platform in May.

The platform, which is provided by Hargreaves Lansdown, provides the national firm of chartered surveyors and property consultants’ employees with the option to choose from a group self-invested personal pension (Sipp), a stocks and shares individual savings account (Isa), a cash Isa, and a fund and share account.

Employees can manage their accounts online 24/7, by post, by phone or by smartphone. More than two-thirds (70%) of employees manage their accounts online.

Gerald Eve has also used the workplace savings platform to ensure it is compliant with auto-enrolment, although it is not required to stage until February 2014.

It also launched a new investment communications strategy alongside the new platform. Since the launch of the platform, 42% of employees select their own investments, compared to around 10% for a typical pension scheme.

Hargreaves Lansdown created branded literature for Gerald Eve, delivered both by post and online, including a range of interactive calculators, free downloadable guides and how-to videos. It also conducted 24 presentations and 215 individual face-to-face meetings at nine Gerald Eve office locations throughout the UK.

The new investment strategy includes:

  • A suitable default fund, the Schroder Managed Balanced fund, for employees who do not wish to make any choice.
  • ABC funds, categorised as for Adventurous investors, Balanced investors and Conservative investors, for employees who want to make a decision themselves, but require some help.
  • Model portfolios for more hand-on experience for employees. These consist of four or five fund choices in the ABC investor categories.
  • Wealth 150 for sophisticated investors. It is a list compiled by Hargreaves Lansdown of favourite funds across all the sectors, aimed at investors who want to build their own portfolios.

Sarah Draper, head of HR at Gerald Eve, said: “Since introducing the Hargreaves Lansdown [workplace savings platform], we have seen an increase in members and an increase in the amount individuals are putting into their pensions.

“I would certainly say we are giving our employees a better benefit. They now have far more flexibility and control of their short, medium and long-term savings. It has also assisted us in meeting our auto-enrolment requirements.”

Laith Khalaf, head of corporate research at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “The results achieved by Gerald Eve will feed directly through into a better retirement incomes for their staff.

“Higher levels of engagement also mean more employees are recognising the benefits Gerald Eve provide for them. It is a win-win for both the organisation and its employees.”