For most people, their job is a big part of their day to day lives with much of their time being spent working. Because of this, some of the life events people experience throughout their lives, good or bad, might have an impact on how they perform at work. These can include marriage, promotions, illness, starting a family, divorce, buying a house and even retirement. That’s why it’s crucial for employers to provide their employees with ongoing support for both their work and personal lives.

In a recent poll conducted by Secondsight, we asked HR professionals what area they felt their employees needed more support in the most. The top three results were:

  • Pensions and retirement planning
  • Mental health support
  • Saving and budgeting

We’ve taken a deeper look at the poll results and provided some useful tips and content which may help you further support your employees.

Providing pension and retirement support

Almost 38% of HR professionals that voted said they felt their employees needed more support with pensions and retirement planning. This could be due to many reasons, such as people stopping their pension contributions during the pandemic to save money, or because people are generally living longer and therefore will need more money once they retire. Whatever the reasons, it’s vital that employers have the right tools and resources to provide the best support possible to their employees.

However, pensions can be a complex topic to communicate to a workforce due to the wide variety of ages and life stages of employees. However, there are a few simple ways to provide extra support to everyone and raise awareness, including:

  • reminding employees of how their pension works;
  • encouraging them to check what’s in their pension pot now and what it will be at the time of retirement;
  • helping them understand how much they should be saving for their desired retirement; and
  • ensuring they know the importance of increasing their contributions and how they go about doing it.

It may also be worth reminding employees of the benefits of saving into their pension as this can increase engagement and interest. This could be through email, flyers, your intranet or even face to face. You can include benefits such as:

  • on top of paying into their pension themselves, you as an employer also contributes, helping them build a bigger pension pot;
  • their workplace pension is separate to the state pension, so this helps build their retirement income;
  • employees will benefit from pension tax relief; and
  • by saving now, they’ll be more likely to achieve their desired lifestyle at retirement.

You can also find more information on how to engage your employees with their pension, in our recent article here. We’ve also put together a guide on later life planning and care, which you and your employees can view here.

Mental health support

The second most voted topic which employers felt employees needed more support in, was mental health support. This is not surprising given the year and a half we’ve all had. Covid-19 brought with it lockdowns which left people feeling isolated, job losses amongst families which caused financial distress, and unfortunately many people lost loved ones during this unprecedented time. This has meant that now more than ever, employers have needed to provide a different level of mental health support to their employees. Many employers already offer support through Employee Assistance Programmes, mental health first aiders or even training management on spotting early signs of poor mental health. But there is always more that can be done. To find out what other support you can be giving your employees at this time, download our guide which offers 5 essential tips on how you could help employees to build resilience and become mentally and financially stronger, here.

Saving and budgeting

The third topic voted by HR professionals was saving and budgeting and it would not be surprising if this was also a reflection of Covid-19. It’s fair to say that the vast majority of us didn’t financially prepare for a pandemic, so the last 18 months have been quite a financial struggle for many. For those who were fortunate to be on the other end of the scale and managed to save money during lockdown, returning to normality might now seem daunting. No matter what, all employees will now know that it’s important to be prepared for anything life might throw at us, and saving and budgeting is a huge part of this. Find out more about this in our recent article on preparing employees for the 3 biggest threats to their income, here.

Financial education

All three of these topics can be improved with financial education. When employees have a better understanding of their finances, they tend to be more onboard with creating positive financial habits. Financial education can help employees plan for the short, medium and long term. And, just having a plan in place alongside the right tools and resources, can reduce financial stress and improve mental health.

If you haven’t implemented financial education into your organisation yet, or you are looking at ways to improve your current offering, download our financial education guide to find out what we think works the best.

We’ve also teamed up with Via Vita Health and Debenhams Ottaway to offer a one-off wellness webinar covering: employee and employer challenges relating to mental health, keeping the workplace safe for your employees, how to immediately improve employee financial resilience post pandemic and much, much more! Find further information and how to register here.

For further information about how Secondsight could support your employees with their workplace pension, financial education and general wellbeing, contact us today to speak with one of our Advisers. Or visit our website to find out more.

 

Secondsight is a trading name of Foster Denovo Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Please note: A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The value of your investment (and any income from them) can go down as well as up which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available.

Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.

Information correct as of 21/09/21