Licensed Trade Charity boosts pension take up

Nick Funnell, head of LVS Ascot Junior School, with students

The Licensed Trade Charity has seen take up increase in its pension schemes following auto enrolment.

The organisation offers three schemes. Firstly, a money purchase defined contribution (DC) scheme, provided by Legal and General, which was introduced for auto enrolment. It has two existing final salary pensions schemes open to new members that the organisation offers to more than 360 employees.

The charity, which owns and manages three schools as well as a charitable arm, auto enrolled its eligible employees in May 2014 and saw more than 93 employees auto enrolled.

Some 73 members went into the DC scheme, while 20 opted to join the existing final salary schemes.

Since auto enrolment, the organisation has seen a further 30 employees join its DC pension scheme in October, compared to five applications for the same period before auto enrolment in 2013.

Helen Watts, director of finance at the Licensed Trade Charity, said: “We believe this significant increase is a result of our internal campaign to encourage staff to focus on their pension options, and auto-enrolment has had its role to play.”

As part of the organisation’s ongoing communication strategy, it holds roadshows to help motivate staff to opt in and also seeks feedback from employees on the barriers to them signing up, to help boost communication.

One of the barriers was employees wanting more flexible options and as a result the organisation introduced the alternative money purchase scheme.

Watts added: “Our flexible approach to offer staff a pension scheme structure that suited their ability to contribute, without sacrificing the levels of employer input, led us to only have 20 employees opt out of any of its arrangements.

“Our organisation exceeds many employers in continuing to offer a final salary pension scheme, but we know that the benefits are not always clear to all staff.

“We work hard to understand the barriers and have come up with more suitable and attractive options, which has resulted in greater take up.”