International law firm Trowers and Hamlins is typical of progressive firms that try to do a bit more than the minimum required by law when it comes to staff pensions.
Some 700 of its 800 UK-based employees, as well as a number of the firm’s partners, are members of the Trowers and Hamlins group personal pension (GPP) scheme, provided by Aviva.
Trowers and Hamlins’ employer contributions start at 5% of salary, increasing to 10% with age and service as long as the employee puts in 5%. Employees are also enrolled in the My Future Investment Programme but can change to funds of their choice at any time.
Sue Brooks, head of reward at Trowers and Hamlins, says: “We have been with Aviva since 2004 and as well as providing an online benefits platform for staff and partners, [it] has the MyAviva app which all members can download, enabling them to see their fund value in real time, amend funds, contact the helpline, change retirement age and book a retirement workshop.”
Trowers and Hamlins has four principles of wellbeing within its organisation: emotional, financial, mental and physical. “We feel finances are an important contribution to good wellbeing,” says Brooks.
On this basis, all new joiners have a one-to-one meeting with a pensions consultant to give them a guide on the employer’s current pension provision and advice on how to transfer previous pensions.
The employer also holds regular seminars on pensions guidance, and its online benefit tool is regularly updated with financial and pension advice.
At retirement, the usual options are available; members can take their 25% tax-free lump sum, switch to drawdown or buy an annuity with Aviva. They can also shop around.