BSI auto-enrols pension members in salary sacrifice

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has moved its 800 pension scheme members into a salary sacrifice arrangement, and introduced auto-enrolment to the payment system for new recruits.

In addition, the body has launched online total reward statements, which show staff their salary sacrifice savings. Employees have also been given the facility to increase their pension contributions online.

Debora Cangiano, group reward and employee relations manager, said the organisation felt salary sacrifice would lead to higher pensions take up. “We did quite a lot of work on the communication side. All employees got a personalised letter showing exactly what the savings meant to them,” she said.

The organisation also held roadshows, hosted web presentations for home-based staff and provided a financial adviser onsite and over the phone.

Staff were given until the end of March to opt out of salary sacrifice and around 20% did so, including those who were not eligible, for example, if they would have dropped below the minimum wage.

Existing staff who were not pension scheme members were not automatically enrolled. “We are leaving [the salary sacrifice arrangement] open for [existing] employees in the future to opt in at any time,” Cangiano added.

The company has a closed defined benefit (DB) scheme, with around 500 members, and a stakeholder plan with around 300 members. Employees in the DB plan must contribute 5% to qualify for the employer’s contribution, while stakeholder members must pay 3% to receive an employer contribution of 5%. New joiners must be in the salary sacrifice scheme to qualify for employer contributions, but this rule doesn’t apply to existing scheme members.

Staff can also now sign up for the existing childcare voucher scheme and to payroll giving online.