Employee Benefits Pensions Summit 2011: RSA Group engages employees with DC pension

After closing its hybrid defined contribution (DC) scheme in 2006 the RSA Group took a number of measures, including auto-enrolment, to maximise the take up of its replacement stakeholder pension.

Jerry Gandhi, group pensions director at the RSA Group, told delegates attending the Employee Benefits Pensions Summit 2011, held at the Four Seasons hotel in Hampshire, that of the 3,000 employees in the hybrid scheme, 95% joined the stakeholder after it was introduced in 2006. Enhanced transfer values were used to move roughly 80% of members into the new scheme.

In addition, 80% of members elected to pay a contribution in return for a matched employer-funded contribution. And contributions were paid via a salary sacrifice arrangement, resulting in tax and national insurance (NI) savings.

Meanwhile, all new employees joining the firm were automatically auto-enrolled into the new pension.

Four new lifestyle funds were added to existing lifestyle and self-select options and an education and engagement programme, developed in conjunction with Prudential, was used to promote the pension and encourage members to actively select their own investment choices. Seminars were conducted across the firm’s eight UK sites and a personalised pension web page was set up for each member.

Gandhi said: “DC remains a significant part of our package and we needed to get value for our spend.”

After the campaign it was found that 3,000 members accessed their web page and 800 attended seminars. Almost half (44%) of members made a decision about their investments, while 10% increased their contributions and 250 began to make contributions for the first time.

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