Barbon takes steps to boost pension saving

Barbon Insurance Group is encouraging young staff to start saving into its group personal pension scheme by lowering its minimum employee contribution to 1%.

Speaking during a session at Employee Benefits Live on 25 September, Sarah Minter, reward manager at Barbon Insurance Group, provided tips to small and medium-sized employers (SME) on auto-enrolling on a budget of £22,000.

Minter said SMEs have limited resources, such as personnel, time and money, to auto-enrol staff, and added that her organisation struggled to engage employees. “Planning early is essential and, as a team, we have worked hard on pensions,” she added.

The majority of its staff is under the age of 30 and on an average salary of £15,000 a year. In 2008, only 5% of its staff had a pension. To enhance pension take-up, the organisation lowered the minimum employee contribution to 1%.

“Following our benefits enrolment window, we now have up to 64% of staff with a pension, pushed through by communication and low contributions to comply with auto-enrolment,” said Minter.

“It encourages more of our younger staff to join if they only have to put in 1%. Hopefully, once they’ve started, they might eventually increase it to 3%.”