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Cost-effective employee benefits that your employees really value

Offering benefits to your employees over and above the obligatory workplace pension can help you attract and retain good people. In addition, certain benefits are tax-efficient for employers and employees and others can be around 33% cheaper if bought in bulk rather than individually. Indeed, the cost to the business can be lower and the value to employees higher than that of a pay rise.


An increasing number of companies are finding that it is cost-effective to offer a more complete package of employee benefits, on top of the mandatory workplace pension as, in addition to helping attract and retain good staff, they often also find that the net cost to the business is lower than they expect.

Essentially, the right employee benefit scheme allows you to step in with the financial safety net when things go wrong for your staff – great for morale, great for your bottom line, great for your employees. Below are the various issues involved in setting up and operating workplace pensions and broader employee benefits packages efficiently and effectively and details of how we may be able to help you.


Workplace pensions

Here are some of the workplace pension issues you need to manage as an employer on an ongoing basis:

  • If you are setting up a business you will have to select, set up and manage a scheme that meets the needs of your business and your employees, ensuring it works with your usual payroll function, and that you meet your employer auto-enrolment duties.
  • Is your current workplace pension still suitable? Has your business changed since you set up your workplace pension? If you now have a greater or smaller number of employees, or a higher or lower number of high earners, does it still meet the varying needs of all your employees?
  • How are the default investment funds (which most of your employees have probably remained in) performing?
  • Is the choice of investment funds available through the scheme wide enough to meet the different requirements or your staff? Pension scheme members are no longer passive investors, willing to accept that their money is invested in companies that damage the world or have unfair employment and community practices – these days members want to know where and how their money is invested and what good it is doing. Does your scheme meet the needs of staff wishing to make good investment choices?
  • Do employees understand the scheme and are they fully engaged withe the various options and choices available to them? Including whether their pension pot will give them the income they need when they retire?


How we can help you with workplace pensions

We advise organisations on all aspects of workplace pensions, including separate schemes for senior managers, directors and owners, from setting up new schemes to servicing and administering existing ones. Our clients tend to be small-to-medium-sized organisations with up to 1,000 employees.

We have been arranging auto-enrolment schemes since they started and pride ourselves on being able to find a provider willing to accept even the most challenging schemes – including for organisations based outside the UK but with employees in the UK. So far we have never failed to find a provider willing to accept a business or organisation.

If you already have a workplace pension, we can take on the ongoing management and staff engagement and provide you with the advice and support you require to ensure that staff have the savings, knowledge and confidence they need to secure their retirement. For instance, we can:

  • run member workshops, either on-site or online, that put pensions into plain English and drive staff engagement so that they recognise the huge value of what they might otherwise see as just a line on their payslip
  • review your current pension scheme against other offerings, to ensure it remains fit for purpose
  • benchmark your employer contributions against your sector
  • help you with the day-to-day administration of the scheme – our ‘off-your-desk’ support service – working with your payroll function
  • act as a professional intermediary between you, your scheme and The Pensions Regulator, ensuring that it remains compliant and you fulfil all your duties as an employer.

We are experienced in setting up and managing entrepreneurial pensions for business owners that, as well as being tax-efficient for the business and its owners, can allow them to use their pension fund to buy commercial property, own their business premises and lend money to their business. You can find out more in the Your & Your business section of this website.


Employee benefits: ensuring you provide staff with the financial and practical support they need when things go wrong

Offering benefits to your employees over and above the obligatory workplace pension can help you attract and retain good people. In addition, certain benefits are tax-efficient for employers and employees and others can be around 33% cheaper if bought in bulk rather than individually. In our experience, a good benefits package generally costs between 1.5% and 4% of an organisation’s total cost of payroll.

Here are some of the benefits that you can pay for to provide employees with the valuable and welcome financial support they and their families need should the worst happen:

  • Lump sum life cover, more commonly known as death-in-service benefit) gives a tax-free lump sum to an employee’s next of kin, together with access to bereavement counselling and a probate service, if the employee dies. This provides a financial lifeline in times that, as well as being emotionally difficult, could otherwise result in financial worries. This is known as group life assurance (because it covers a group of employees}.
  • Income replacement insurance provides an income plus rehabilitation support to an employee if they are unable to work due to illness or injury. This can help them pay the bills and recover more quickly, free from financial worries, and possibly return to work sooner than would otherwise be the case. It needs to be tailored to dovetail with your sick pay arrangements.
  • Lump sum critical illness insurance provides a one-off lump sum or income replacement if a member of staff is diagnosed with a life-changing illness. This benefit can be broadened to include the employee’s young children. It is important to understand the differences between the benefits of this and income protection insurance.
  • Private medical insurance meets some or all the costs of private medical treatment, allowing employees to choose from a wider range of specialists and hospitals than they would otherwise have access to, get treated promptly without worrying about the cost and, hopefully, get better faster. You can opt to extend treatments covered, to include dental and optical, mental health, and outpatient treatments. Also, you can offer staff the option of extending the cover to include employee’s partners and children. The cost of taking this out as part of an employee benefits package is far cheaper than if employees were to take it out individually.
  • Salary sacrifice is an agreement whereby employees can choose to have a reduced salary in exchange for tax-efficient benefits. This reduces their income tax bill and your employer National Insurance costs. Benefits that employees can choose to have under this scheme could include electric cars, additional employer pension contributions and many more. It is important that all aspects of this scheme are explained to employees, as opting for this can have knock-on effects to the value of some of the benefits they would otherwise receive.  Salary sacrifice arrangements require HMRC approval, so it is vital they are explained to employees and implemented by someone familiar with HMRC’s requirements.
  • Flexible benefits and well-being allowances enable employees to choose benefits that meet their particular needs up to an agreed value. Giving staff the ability to tailor their benefits to their personal needs and priorities means that they understand and appreciate the true financial and well-being benefits of what you are providing.

Our employee benefits consultants are experienced in advising on and setting up all aspects of employee benefits. Being independent, we research all options available in order to find ones that match your needs. For instance, we take into account cost, payroll compatibility, number of employees, the flexibility you wish to offer them in terms of choice, and your agreed employee benefit strategy. Our recommendations aim to be cost-efficient to you, the employer, while being attractive to your employees. Moreover, we have over 30 years’ experience of implementing HMRC-approved salary sacrifice arrangements that reduce tax both for employers and employees.


1-to-1 personal financial wealth checks for employees

We offer the full range of employee engagement, from financial coaching workshops to full one-to-one personal financial advice.

As independent financial planners, we can provide your employees with one-to-one advice on all aspects of financial planning. This includes advice on retirement planning (including pension transfers), other investments, including ISAs, and financial insurance and protection. We offer a complementary initial consultation with a fee payable for any advice by the employee if they decide to go ahead with our advice.


For a more detailed discussion please call 020 7702 4488 or email
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