If your company has not recently looked at re-designing its pension arrangements, then this could be a key way for it to meet its financial and HR objectives. Indeed many companies are now finding compelling reasons to push ahead with pension change, which are often more to do with achieving cost certainty, or a re-allocation of costs between different groups of employees, rather than simply cost cutting. In addition, we now know that contracting out for DB plans will end in April 2016, so there is less than three years for every company with a contracted-out plan to review its plan design and implement a revised benefit structure.
However, this is an area fraught with challenges, as can be seen from recent press coverage. Get this wrong, particularly the consultation with your plan’s existing membership, and the consequences can be severe in terms of damaged employee relations and, in a worst case, industrial action.
At bac we know how to lead successful pension change projects, with our team having been involved in some high profile cases in recent years. By success, we don’t just mean you avoid significant employee relations issues but rather that we help you make pension change a positive experience for your employees.
In addition, we believe that the complexity of these projects should not be an excuse for advisers to charge poorly budgeted or inflated fees. That’s why we’ve developed a pension change capability with a menu of fixed fees to provide you with support in some or all of the following areas:
- benefit design and costings (using our industry-leading mosaic software)
- managing the defined benefit transition
- developing a consultation strategy and timeline
- drafting communication materials, including answers to FAQs, for key stakeholders and employees, both in paper form and via a dedicated website which can include a web-enabled modeller for members
- training your team to run (or co-hosting) consultation meetings and employee presentations
- implementing the final changes.