EXCLUSIVE: 76% of Oxford BioMedica staff engage with pensions online after benefits revamp

Oxford BioMedicaEXCLUSIVE: More than three-quarters (76%) of Oxford BioMedica employees have registered to view their pension online following a revamp of its employee benefits programme.

In September 2015, the gene and cell therapy organisation, which employs more than 180 staff, expanded its pension and financial education support offering with the introduction of Hargreaves Lansdown’s Corporate Vantage Service.

The included moving from a group personal pension plan (GPP) to a group self-invested personal pension (Sipp), and providing employees with access to an individual savings account (Isa) and an account for general investments. Staff can view these additional saving options online alongside their pension, with access via a single log-in.

The changes were put in place to give employees the knowledge to take control of their retirement savings, allowing them to make informed decisions and plan their life after work.

Following the launch, 12% of pension scheme members increased their contribution levels, and around two-thirds (64%) have invested money outside of the default investment fund. In February 2016, 56% logged in to view their pension online.

Oxford BioMedica has also introduced online total reward statements to help employees understand the value of their employee benefits package.

An employee survey, which was conducted in April 2016 and received 77 responses, found that 99% of respondents feel they receive the right support and information with regards to their pension planning, and 83% feel more in control of their retirement. More than half (61%) feel the online total reward statements give them a better understanding of their benefits package, with the most valued benefits listed as pension options and holiday.

Lesley Baxter, head of HR at Oxford BioMedica, said: “We carried out a review of our benefits in the first quarter of 2015 after our staff numbers had increased by almost 50% in the previous six months and further recruitment was planned. Pensions were a particularly important area for us to attract and retain staff, as well as the recent upheaval in legislation.

“Focusing on financial education has been crucial to upping staff engagement levels, with the sessions provided by Hargreaves Lansdown proving hugely popular.

“We are delighted with the results, which clearly show staff have greater control over their retirement planning and a better understanding of the benefits we offer.”