Thomsons Online Benefits research: Employers are keen to offer flexible benefits to staff

The majority of employers (90%) are looking to offer flexible benefits to employees, according to research from Thomsons Online Benefits.

The eighth annual Employee Rewards Watch report was conducted among more than 400 UK organisations.†

It also found that 90% of respondents believe employee engagement is one of the key benefits of offering flexible benefits.†

Marcus Underhill, global reward director at Thomsons Online Benefits, said: “Employee engagement will be essential to deliver the 2011 change agenda and a reward strategy is a critical route to deliver that.

“However, our research shows that only 38% of companies have a written reward strategy.”

Chris Bruce, managing director at Thomsons Online Benefits, added: “The coming year promises to be an exciting time of both challenge and change.

“This report offers insight into the readiness of organisations for that challenge and change.”

Respondents to the report said that pensions will prove to be one of the biggest headaches for many businesses over to coming two years, especially with the implementation of the retail distribution review (RDR) and the 2012 pension reforms.

Over half (58%) of respondents were unaware that they will have to pay a fee rather than commission for setting up a group personal pension (GPP) scheme when the RDR is implemented in 2013.

Michael Whitfield, chief executive officer at Thomsons Online Benefits, stressed that steps therefore need to be taken to ensure that everyone understands the implications of the changing legislation to safeguard both consumers and the industry.

“Employers need to explicitly understand the implications of these pension reforms for their pension scheme,” said Whitfield.

“Although the situation has improved, too many people are uncertain and, given the market trend, may be assuming that there will be no impact.”

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