EXCLUSIVE: Henderson Global Investors has introduced employer-funded one-to-one financial advice sessions, targeted at employees who are around 15 years away from retirement.
Jeremy Mindell, former senior reward and tax manager at Henderson Global Investors, said: “There’s an element of saying: ‘What are you going to do with your money? Is this how you envisage it? What other legacy elements have you got?’
“We can’t do generic information for that. It is very individual to the person, their circumstances, their family, what pensions they have got, what other investments they’ve got and where they want to retire to. Ten years out, or maybe a bit further than that, is when they need to think about these decisions.”
The investment firm has appointed three independent advisers – Alexander Associates Group, Foster Denovo and Hargreaves Lansdown – to provide the free one-to-one sessions. Mindell added: “If employees want to pursue it afterwards, that’s up to them. We give them the choice of three, and we can always facilitate them to meet in the office or at the advisers’ office.”
Henderson Global Investors provides its employees with a trust-based defined contribution (DC) pension, with employer contributions of 10.5%.
Due to the potential for employees’ uncertainty around issues associated with DC pension schemes, such as investment and at-retirement options, the firm is keen to ensure its employees are educated about annuities and lifestyling options, as well as more flexible ways to retire. “One element is the balance of what you’re doing,” said Mindell. “So, if you’re in lifestyling, is that right?
“It may be right for some people, but as annuities become less attractive, lifestyling is going to become less appropriate for people. There will always be people for whom lifestyling is right, but if people are looking at more flexible pension arrangements, a mechanism that goes towards 75% bonds and 25% cash is not necessarily the right one.”
The firm is sending out 300 letters to about 10% of its employee population who are between 10 and 15 years away from retirement. “Our role is as a facilitator,” said Mindell. “We’re not giving the advice. It’s trying to get people to think more. We get people with quite sizable pots and they need to think about what they’re doing.”