Employee Benefits Awards 2009: Most effective application of tax-efficient benefits (Sponsored by Personal Group)

TD Waterhouse Investor Services TDWFlextra

TD Waterhouse Investor Services was praised by the judges for its clear, comprehensive strategy, which uses the national insurance (NI) savings gained from offering tax-efficient perks via salary sacrifice to fund other benefits initiatives.

Having run several tax-efficient benefits, including a share incentive plan and childcare vouchers, for several years, the brokerage firm realised it had tremendous scope to extend the range of tax-efficient perks it offered. This complemented its move to a total reward philosophy.

As a result, it consolidated its existing tax-efficient benefits, alongside a number of new schemes, within a flexible benefits plan. Options offered through flex included: pension contributions, bikes for work, mobile phones, a share incentive plan, holiday trading, health screening, car parking, childcare vouchers and a card to pay for meals in on-site staff canteens – all of which are tax-efficient.

TD Waterhouse was able to launch its flex platform on a cost-neutral basis using the employer NI savings gained from offering its GPP via salary sacrifice. It has also used savings from some of the other benefits on offer to fund innovative initiatives, such as subsidised wellbeing accounts. With these, staff can save up to £50 a month, 50% of which is matched by the firm. Staff can use their account to fund any wellbeing or learning activity by producing proof of payment.

Overall, at least 77% of the organisation’s staff have taken up at least one tax-efficient benefit.

Pictured left: Anne Barnett, compensation and benefits manager at TD Waterhouse Investor services. Barnett said: “We’re not a large company and don’t have a large budget so we have had to spend money wisely. Tax-efficient benefits are highly regarded by our employees.”


  • Henderson Global Investors
    The global asset management firm introduced a facility for employees to sacrifice their bonus into a group selfinvested personal pension. It also took steps to increase take-up of its childcare voucher scheme, using flyers, a poster campaign and amending its maternity return-towork letters. This resulted in a 10% increase in take-up of the perk.
  • North Yorkshire County Council Everybody Benefits (entered by You at Work)
    The council has gone to great lengths to promote its taxefficient benefits to its disparate workforce. Following a targeted communications campaign, employee usage of its benefits website increased by 53%, exceeding the council’s initial target by 350%. Between May and December 2008, take-up of childcare vouchers also increased – by 40%.
  • Sword Scientific Employer of Choice Benefits Package
    Sword Scientific’s tax-efficient benefits are a key part of its strategy to attract, retain and motivate employees. Perks it offers include: childcare vouchers, mobile phones with unlimited free personal use, long-service awards and £150 a head for an annual party at a local Michelin-star restaurant.