Trinity Mirror increases pension take-up to 45%

Trinity Mirror Group more than doubled the take-up rate of its defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, from 20% to 45%, following an employee communications campaign designed to boost engagement.

Speaking at the National Association of Pension Funds’ annual conference and exhibition 2013 on 17 October, David Astley, group pensions manager at Trinity Mirror and trustee director of the employer’s pension schemes, said: “In the run up to our staging date, [Trinity Mirror] had launched a final opportunity to join [campaign], an ‘apply now while stocks last [approach],’ if you will, for those employees who were not members of the pension scheme.

Trinity Mirror’s staging date was May 2013, but the organisation postponed the auto-enrolment of its workforce to July 2013 to align the process with the renewal date of its pension scheme.

Astley said that around 2,000 employees were not members of any Trinity Mirror pension scheme before July.

Alongside its DC pension scheme, the Trinity Mirror Pension Plan, the employer operates nine defined benefit pension schemes, which it closed to new entrants with effect from 1 January 2003 and closed to future accrual from 31 March 2010.

The DC plan comprises three sections. The first comprises members who joined the scheme pre-auto-enrolment and is based on a contribution structure of employee rates of between 4% and 7%, which the employer matches.

The second section is a foundation section, which was created for the purpose of auto-enrolment and offers statutory minimum contribution rates.

The third section is an enhanced section, which enables employees to increase their contribution rates to 3% or 6%, which Trinity Mirror will match.

Trinity Mirror is now in the throes of reviewing its at retirement support for employees.

“[Trinity Mirror] has offered, for the last three years or so, some financial support to members leaving the business through redundancy or retirement, to enable them to get financial advice, but it gets surprisingly little use,” explained Astley.

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“Effectively, it’s free money that’s there [for employees to use for] advice on what to do with [their] pension arrangements, and not just the [defined contribution] DC plan, but all [their] pension arrangements.”

He added that the at retirement efforts of Trinity Mirror’s pension provider, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, would be part of the review.