McCarthy and Stone raises pensions take up by 45%

EXCLUSIVE: McCarthy and Stone has increased take up in its pension scheme by 45% since it launched a workplace savings platform three years ago.

The platform, provided by Hargreaves Lansdown, includes access to a self-invested personal pension, independent savings account and investment account.

Since the retirement homes developer launched the platform in the autumn of 2010, 91 employees have joined the pension scheme, bringing membership from 202 to 293 employees.

Two-thirds of current members are now managing their pension scheme online and 20% of members logged in to view their account in September alone.

More than a third (37%) have increased their pension contributions. Prior to the launch of the platform, employees contributed an average of 5% of salary. Since the launch, average contributions have risen to 7.5%.

More than a quarter (27%) of members have invested outside the default fund, which is run by Schroders. The default fund is reviewed by Hargreaves Lansdown once every six months.

McCarthy and Stone also provides a financial education programme with Hargreaves Lansdown. Over three years, it has run 32 seminars and 376 one-to-one meetings with staff across six different sites.

Paula Jordan, HR director at McCarthy and Stone, said: “The last three years have gone extremely well and we are very comfortable with where we stand today.

“Hargreaves Lansdown has been particularly helpful to us in planning for auto-enrolment, providing appropriate options to enable us to manage our pension in line with legislative requirements, all under one roof.”

Laith Khalaf, head of corporate research at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “Contributions are the single most important factor in determining people’s retirement incomes.

“McCarthy and Stone is a concrete example of how some simple financial education in the workplace can lead directly to people saving more.

“More than 150 employees are now doing just that, thanks to McCarthy and Stone’s decision to help their staff engage using a [workplace savings platform].”