Debbie Lovewell-Tuck: Balancing pay expectations with pension costs

In an era of continually rising prices and below-average pay increases, salary levels have become an emotive issue.

Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor, Employee Benefits

All employees naturally want to achieve the best standard of living possible, and human nature dictates that many will base this on what they can afford to buy and do with their take-home pay.

However, by focusing on their short- or even medium-term future, some employees could be overlooking the bigger picture: the type of retirement they would like to have.

Additional pension contributions

What some may fail to recognise is that even though they may not be seeing the increases they would like in their take-home pay, they are still benefiting from additional cash from their employer post-auto-enrolment.

The challenge for employers is how to communicate this to ensure staff recognise and value the pension contributions they are receiving.

This can be tricky when rising prices mean some staff may rather have the cash to spend on everyday items. Come retirement, however, I am sure that even the most hardened pensions cynic will be grateful for everything they have accumulated over their working life.

Managing long-term cost increases

In the long run, this could also help employers to manage cost increases, particularly as many find themselves paying fees for the first time after the removal of commissions and consultancy charging.

With pay increases likely to remain low for the next few years, employers that ensure staff understand the value of payments, such as pension contributions, may be able to edge ahead in the war for talent.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Deputy Editor
Employee Benefits
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell