SSI adds flexible benefits and moves to GPP

Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) UK has launched a flexible benefits scheme and switched from a stakeholder pension scheme to a group personal pension (GPP) in preparation for auto-enrolment.

The steel firm launched its flex scheme, branded One Reward, when it recruited more than 1,000 new staff, increasing its workforce to 1,800. It aims to build its business strategy and grow its employee benefits offering as its Tees-side steel plant reopens after two years.

The flex scheme includes benefits such as life assurance, private medical insurance (PMI), personal accident insurance, dental insurance, childcare vouchers, a give-as-you-earn scheme and† a bikes-for-work scheme.

Jo Davies, HR director at SSI, said: “The steel industry had not seen anything like flexible benefits before. We had to stay pretty basic in what we offered this year, but next year we will be looking to expand it significantly.”

The GPP, into which employees are automatically enrolled, has a minimum contribution level of 3% for employees, which is matched by the employer up to 6%. The scheme, provided by Scottish Widows, has a take-up rate between 90% and 95% because some employees have decided to opt out.

Davies said: “We used to have a stakeholder scheme, but when we moved to Thomsons Online Benefits, we were advised to switch to a group personal pension to get a better deal.”

This included a new salary sacrifice arrangement for pension contributions under the GPP.

Read more about group personal pension plans