EXCLUSIVE: Hays holds pensions roadshows for 3,500 UK employees

Rosemary Lemon

EXCLUSIVE: Recruitment organisation Hays is holding a series of pensions-themed roadshows for its 3,500 employees across 17 of its UK sites.

The pensions roadshows, which are running for two weeks from Monday 16 October 2017, form part of the organisation’s overall financial capability and wellbeing strategy. Financial wellness and money is one of Hay’s five key benefits pillars; alongside health, life, environment and learning and development.

The roadshows have been designed to combat misconceptions staff may have about pensions being difficult to understand or hard to navigate. They are targeted to appeal to all employees. Each 60 to 90-minute presentation will be jointly led by the organisation’s group head of reward, Rosemary Lemon, and its pensions manager, Kath Bedford.

The sessions will focus on topics such as what pension employees may receive under the state pension, how investments and default funds work, employees’ risk profile and how this links to investments, tax relief, the different choices available at retirement, and how to budget for retirement. Staff will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session at the end of each presentation.

Roadshow will be held at 17 of Hays’ UK sites, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ilford, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Reading and Sheffield. The roadshow will also take place at four sites in London.

Hays will also run three webinars at the end of the two weeks to enable employees who were not able to attend in person to access the sessions. Between 20 and 80 employees have signed up for each session so far.

The pensions roadshows have been communicated to staff by cascading the information through HR business partners and regional business managers. The organisation was keen to ensure that client-facing roles would not be affected by taking time away from the business to attend the pensions sessions.

Hays is hosting the pensions roadshow in October ahead of the opening of its flexible benefits window in November. This is the next opportunity employees will have to adjust their pensions contributions.

The organisation previously held roadshows in January to March 2016 and again in 2017 to target employees who had hit the personal tapered allowance limit to help them understand what this means for their pension savings.

In the run up to Christmas, the organisation also plans to speak to employees about stress and debt, signposting its employee assistance programme.

Rosemary Lemon (pictured), group head of reward at Hays, said: “We want people to think about saving a little bit more and not be scared about it.

Financial worries [are] one of the biggest causes of stress and there’s no doubt that with the pressures that are on people [with] having to work longer, not having the ability to buy houses and get any equity behind them, [mean] if people don’t save now, they’re really going to struggle by the time they get to retirement age. We want people who are feeling happy and not worried about money at work. It works for [organisations] when [they have] good financial wellbeing. We offer a good pension plan and we want people to have the maximum opportunity to use it.”