UK - Medical supplies firm Smith & Nephew is offering staff health insurance and the chance to purchase extra holidays as part of a new flexible benefits package.
The firm will pilot the flex scheme with 1200 workers at its wound management division in Hull, before deciding whether to extend the plan to its remaining 600 staff around the country next year.
The new flex plan will also offer discounts on computers and bicycles as part of the £100,000 package to improve staff retention.
S&N remuneration and pensions manager Terry Dunn said the package would grow to offer more benefits in the near future.
“We consulted staff earlier in the year and asked them what kind of things they would like to see being provided,” he said.
“Things like the BUPA private health insurance and the chance to buy or sell annual holidays were what came up.
“For the company it is a real staff retention tool and hopefully we can give some good benefits to the employee too.
“We are starting by offering it to just our Hull office and are very keen to see how it goes, review the take-up and see what people think of what we’re offering. We would definitely like to see more benefits being offered in the future and ultimately open to all staff.”
The company had planned to launch the new benefits earlier this month but decided to postpone it until January, to give staff a chance to become accustomed to the new grading system it has also introduced. The flex package was installed by The Hay Group and will be operated by Thomsons Online Benefits.
S&N already offers a flexible car option allowing 300 staff members to choose between a company vehicle or a graded cash sum.
Its final salary scheme was closed to new members in 2002 and replaced by a defined contribution scheme.
More needs to be done to speed up DB to DC transfers but, as Jonathan Stapleton says, more also needs to be done to protect members.
The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) took on 2,566 early resolution cases in 2018/19 after onboarding a team from The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), according to its annual report and accounts.
The lifeboat fund is in a good position despite reserves taking a £0.6bn hit. But the ramifications of the EU judgment on member compensation is an area of concern for CEO Oliver Morley, writes Stephanie Baxter