Increased admin the biggest challenge for DC schemes

Increased administration is the biggest challenge for employers, Barnett Waddingham has found.

According to its Beyond Pensions survey of 200 pension managers and HR decision makers from UK companies, 49 per cent of respondents cited 'increased administration' as the key challenge to running their company's DC pension scheme, followed by 'cost' at 40 per cent, and 'regulatory burden' at just 29 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, Barnett Waddingham partner Paul Leandro said: “Regulatory fatigue around pensions is lessening and, given there has been no policy changes for three years, employers feel they have more freedom to be creative with the wider pension and financial benefit strategy for employees. However beyond pension provision, companies are struggling to implement the right level of financial wellbeing support and provisions.”

This is echoed by the survey's findings that over 60 per cent of organisations have not raised any awareness among their employees regarding pension scams. Thirty-eight per cent have raised awareness of pension scams, with 34 per cent not having not done so yet, but are looking to do so.

Nineteen per cent of respondents know of at least one employee who has been victim of scam, while 50 per cent say they know none of their employees have, with the rest unsure.

The 'definite' or 'some' need for pension advice or guidance amongst their employees was felt by 84 per cent of respondents, with half of employers saying employees look to them for financial advice and guidance

However, Barnett Waddingham noted that opinion here was polarised, as those with fewer than 50 employees or more than 5,000 predominantly do not think their employees look to them for financial advice and guidance.

The preferred communication channels with employees regarding pensions were email or face-to-face, at 61 per cent. Post was preferred by 22 per cent and tech platforms by 19 per cent wirh 14 per cent favouring mobile devices/apps.

From their company's point of view, the main benefit of a DC scheme was to reward employees, stated 58 per cent of respondents, while 44 per cent considered its main benefit as satisfying regulations.

Nearly half of respondents were unsure about whether their organisation would have an appetite for CDC schemes, with 37 per cent saying that they would, and 15 per cent stating not.

Future workplace savings vehicles will be more like a savings account, predicted 43 per cent of respondents, with more flexibility and accessibility during the members lifetime, while 28 per cent predicted it to look similar to pension provision today, with freedom at retirement.

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