Fujitsu uses flex to communicate auto-enrolment

EXCLUSIVE: Fujitsu has used its annual flexible benefits enrolment process to continue its pensions auto-enrolment communications.

The technology organisation, which has 15,000 employees, opened its flexible benefits window in November 2013, with employees’ benefits choices taking effect from January 2014.

It included details of pensions auto-enrolment in this year’s communications, in order to remind auto-enrolled employees that they could upgrage to the organisation’s existing pension scheme during the flex enrolment window. Fujitsu reached its staging date in March 2013, but postponed auto-enrolment until June 2013.  

Paula Evans, head of pensions and benefits, UK and Ireland at Fujitsu, said: “Fujitsu is all about encouraging and supporting employees to do the right thing. In that respect, we would want to support employees with long-term saving via a pension for their future.”

Trust-based defined contribution pension

The organisation offers employees a trust-based defined contribution (DC) pension, provided by Fidelity. Under this arrangement, Fujitsu double matches employees’ contributions up to a maximum 10% employer contribution.

Evans added: “When pensions auto-enrolment was in the wings as a concept, we decided to keep the structure as it is, but run auto-enrolment separately.

“We told employees: We’d really like you to have the full benefits that we provide, but if you don’t do that we’re going to have to auto-enrol you anyway.”

Its auto-enrolment section of the scheme, provided by Fidelity, is also a trust-based DC scheme, which meets auto-enrolment requirements, so employees must contribute 1% and Fujitsu contributes 1%.

Opt-out rates

After enrolling around 1,100 employees in June, Fujitsu experiences a typical opt-out rate of 9% on a month-to-month basis.

Fujitsu will continue to allow employees to upgrade to the trust-based DC pension during its annual flexible benefits enrolment, which it manages in-house.

In November 2013, it sent out targeted reminders to auto-enrolled staff to encourage them to upgrade to the original pension. “They can only upgrade once a year during enrolment,” said Evans.

Flexible benefits communication

It offers a diverse range of communications around its flexible benefits enrolment to cater for its geographically diverse workforce. 

“We have an internal online site that includes the details of the benefits and why employees might want to take them up. We also provide online presentations for specific benefits. This time around we ran them on pensions.”

Fujitsu also communicates with staff using bespoke emails, benefits fairs, webcasts and micro-blogs written by the leadership team.

“We approach communications via as many channels as we can, and we also build the topic into our HR roadshows, which run throughout the year,” said Evans. “It is a continual rolling programme of talking to employees about their benefits.”