UK - The Confederation of British Industry is urging more employers to provide occupational pensions.
The CBI’s pension strategy group – chaired by Unilever UK chairman Richard Greenhalgh – believes all firms which can afford to do so, should make contributions towards employees’ private pensions if the member of staff also makes payments.
The group’s report – Raising the Bar: Benchmarking Pension Provision – sets out best practice guidelines for reducing the nation’s savings gap without placing too great a financial burden on firms, which are struggling under a combined pension deficit of £100bn.
UK pensions senior policy adviser Jay Sheth (pictured) told PP the aim was to build on a voluntary approach.
“We are saying that more employers should look at pension provision or contributions. This is quite a step forward for us – it is quite a shift for a business organisation to be saying that.
“We think the voluntary approach has been a historical success story and we want to build on that.”
Sheth said employees also had a role to play in encouraging greater pension provision.
“We feel that part of the reason why small-to-medium size employers are not providing pensions is that many are under cost constraints and in many cases, employees don’t appear to value pensions.”
He added: “Employees need to show greater interest in the pensions they receive if employers are going to be convinced to provide them.”
The strategy group also called for the use of an automatic opt-in policy whereby new employees automatically join a scheme after an initial waiting period unless they ask not to be included.
And it said employers needed to be more creative and flexible when changing their pensions arrangements – perhaps opting for a hybrid design which incorporates elements of both final salary and money purchase plans.
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