Heineken and Virgin Media communicate pension changes to staff

Virgin Media

Employee Benefits Live 2015: Heineken and Virgin Media have adopted a continuous communications approach to inform staff about the pension reforms.

Speaking at a conference session on the effect of the latest general election on workplace pensions at Employee Benefits Live 2015, David Roberts, head of pensions and benefits at Virgin Media, explained that recent changes to the workplace pensions landscape, such as auto-enrolment and the pension flexibilities, have created opportunities for both employees and employers.

Roberts noted that despite the new flexibilities, staff failing to contribute enough to their retirement savings remains the greatest barrier to workers retiring comfortably.

Roberts said: “Employees may not know how much they need to retire on, so the freedoms mean people may be unequipped to make the decisions that they want to.” 

He also explained that Virgin Media has continuously communicated the changes to its employees as they have been implemented: “Staff need to understand the importance of saving as much as they can as soon as they can, how to make the most out of their money through investing, and what they actually need to save.”

Neil Parfrey, head of pensions at Heineken, who also spoke at the session, further emphasised the importance of continuously educating staff about changes to pensions legislation.

He said: “Continued engagement and education are crucial to avoiding pension pitfalls going forward, such as not saving enough. 

“We give our employees road shows with plenty of branding and engagement surveys. I’d also recommend employers provide gamification with informative apps and a review of default funds.”

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Parfrey is of the opinion that there may be further legislative changes to pensions in the future. He added: ”I’m not overly optimistic that we will have steady water ahead if we don’t start to look at pensions more holistically.”