EXCLUSIVE: Action against homelessness charity Dens has seen 50% of staff take up its pension scheme after it complied with auto-enrolment more than three years early.
The charity’s auto-enrolment staging date is 1 January 2017, but it launched a master trust, provided by Now: Pensions, in October 2013.
This is the first time the organisation has provided a pension scheme for staff.
Sarah Clark, finance and administration manager at Dens, said: “We wanted to give our staff the opportunity to plan for their future and present them with a scheme that was not only easy to use, but allowed flexible contributions.
“We hoped that by giving staff the chance to pro-actively join the Now: Pensions’ scheme rather than it being an exercise of ‘all must join unless you opt-out’, it would result in the majority of our staff taking up a pension ahead of the auto-enrolment deadline.
“We also felt that running a scheme before [our staging date] would give us a chance to experience the administration and processes involved with running a pension scheme, and the pitfalls and problems it may bring.”
In July 2013, Dens entered a period of consultation with its 29 employees, informing them of the organisation’s decision to launch a pension scheme and the reasons behind it.
The charity arranged sessions with a financial advisor so that staff could receive independent advice on the options available to them to ensure they better understand the scheme and the benefits of long-term saving.
The master trust is also offered to all new employees. As it approaches the one-year anniversary of the launch, the organisation will also hold a fresh round of communications to encourage more staff to join the scheme.