Kwik-Fit Financial Services has seen the number of employees participating in its pension plan soar by 50% after it increased its employer contribution levels. The financial services firm, that sells motor and travel insurance, increased its maximum contribution from 4.5% to 15% last month. Since then the number of pension scheme members has jumped from 50% to 74%, with some 12% of staff increasing their own contributions.
Keren Edwards, HR director, said: "Basically there were very low [employer] contributions into the existing scheme, which were not really comparable with what was going in from the employees. So, we have significantly improved what’s going in from the company." She added that the firm now has a pension plan fit for the financial sector. "Although we are part of Kwik-Fit Group, as a car repair business, we are a financial services firm and we needed to have [more aligned] benefits."
The firm’s contributions, which depend on position and length of service, have risen from 0.3% to 1% for staff on its basic grade and from 4.5% to a maximum of 15% for staff on its highest grade. Employees can also now use their flexible benefits allowance to top up their pension pot, with the company adding national insurance savings of 12.8%. The scheme also needed to comply with the rules set by its parent company.
"While still remaining part of Kwik Fit Group’s scheme, we needed to get approval to enhance our own scheme. "This brought up issues in terms of consistency of treatment of all their employees because we’d already introduced flexible benefits six months before this – so we’d already given them issues," added Edwards.