News from Aon
At Aon, we need to keep up-to-date with everything that’s going on in employee benefits, so we can give you the best service and support. We’ll share the highlights here regularly, so you can keep abreast of changes affecting the sector.
Also, our experts are often approached by the employee benefits media when they need an experienced perspective, or fresh research into new and emerging issues in the market, as well as inviting them to comment on hot topics in the media. The resulting pieces are great food for thought, so we’ll include them here too.
Desk potatoes are taking over Britain’s firms
The UK has an unhealthy workforce according to new figures which show a third don’t exercise and over half have never had a cholesterol test.
What is work-related stress? What are the issues to organisations and what's the legislation?
Work-related stress is a significant issue, affecting individuals and employers as well as the broader society. Understanding what it is and how it affects people can help employers meet their legal responsibilities and protect the health and safety of their employees.
Why don't organisations focus on intervention?
With 11.7 million working days lost to stress in 2015/16 (1), it's an issue that no organisation can afford to ignore. But, in spite of the moral, legal and business reasons for tackling it, few organisations have robust stress management interventions in place.
Savers ‘appreciate’ rise in auto enrolment contributions
The rise in pension contributions have been met with widespread approval among those who have been automatically enrolled in workplace pension schemes, new research has revealed.
Three quarters of Brits are saving into workplace pension schemes thanks to auto enrolment
Auto enrolment has led to nearly three-quarters of UK employees saving for retirement through workplace pension schemes with a significant increase in pension membership among younger workers, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
Shared parental leave becoming more popular
Modern family life is changing and figures show that both parents are keen to share the time caring for their baby throughout its first year.
Aon appoints two senior hires in Scotland to help employers optimise benefits strategies
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has hired two senior consultants to give organisations further help with optimising their benefits strategies.
Shift in preferred workplace communication methods among US and UK employees
A significant proportion of British and American-based employees are ‘dissatisfied’ with communication methods used by their employer, new research has revealed.
Connecting with a new generation
People are living longer than ever but the reality is that not everyone can afford to retire when they want to and are staying in work for longer too. Add in the fact that many retirees are choosing to ‘unretire’ after leaving work and the average workplace is now a mixed age demographic indeed.
Aon says Scottish employees and employers impacted by April tax changes coming into force in April 2018
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that changes to the rates of Scottish Income Tax will directly impact certain employees who, from April, will not receive their full Income Tax relief entitlement on pension contributions and will need to start reclaiming monies directly from the HMRC.
Auto enrolment ‘not enough’ to help women prepare
Automatically enrolling staff into a pension scheme at work has, as expected, proved a boon according to government figures, however, it falls short in helping women save for their retirement.
What does freedom look like?
It’s now two and a half years since over-55s were given much greater control over their retirement savings. Adam Burn, Corporate Pensions Technical Manager explores what we’ve learned so far.
Pension scheme charges: nothing to see here?
Who cares about pension scheme charges any more? Legislation has reined in the worst excesses of pension suppliers; trustees or employers keep an annual eye on provider costs
Member engagement - face to face v online tools
Encouraging greater engagement with pensions is good for employers and employees. As well as highlighting the value of the pension benefit you provide, it can also lead to better retirement outcomes for employees. But, with a range of communication methods available to employers, determining which is most appropriate for your workforce isn't always easy.
Employees would be more productive if bosses recognised efforts
Employees who don’t feel valued and appreciated for their efforts will display lower productivity levels, according to new research.
Smartphone fatigue affects scores of young employees
A record number of young working people are struggling to switch off from work due to work-related calls, messages and emails accessed via smartphones received outside of the working day.
Benefits are known to be important by business leaders, but something’s not working. Here’s the missing link.
Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the role employee benefits can play in recruitment, retention and employee engagement. Many know, for instance, that in order to maintain a productive, engaged workforce and to attract and retain talent, their employee benefits offering needs to be competitive.
Opt out rates likely to rise if employees unprepared for contribution rate increase
Auto enrolment opt-out rates could increase if employees are not aware of imminent contribution rates changes, the Liberal Democrats have warned.
Ensure apprentices are offered group risk benefits, says GRiD
Apprentices should be entitled to the same group risk benefits as other employees working in similar roles, Group Risk Development (GRiD) have recommended.
Active ageing more important than increases in state pension age
The government should avoid raising the pension age as it intends this year, and instead encourage an ‘active ageing environment’, a report has recommended.
Aon Benefits & Trends survey highlights key pension trends
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has published the results of its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 which sheds new light on key areas of focus for UK pension schemes.
Employers need clarity on Government’s decision to keep salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme open for further six months
The Government’s surprise decision to extend the salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme (CCV) for a further six months should be welcomed by employees, but causes complexities for employers who have already initiated the changes.
Workers to save more under new rules from April; ideas on how to invest it
From April 2018, millions of employees will see the amount they contribute to their workplace pension automatically increased, but few realise that they can take control of how it’s invested.
Benefits – Understanding why the landscape impacts your costs, value and ROI
Employee benefits offered by businesses today are radically different to those available several decades ago. When employers started offering so-called workplace perks in the 1950s, partly as a response to wage increase demands from unions, they tended to focus around holiday entitlements and in some cases, minimal pension provision.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey shows 41% of employers need to prepare for new tax regulations coming into force in April
Aon has said that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 showed 41% of employers are unaware of the implications of the Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OPRA) which are coming into force on 6 April.
Women can vote but not flexibly work
As women in the UK celebrate 100 years since they won the right to vote, they still have battles to fight in other areas of life, not least, the workplace. It is well publicised that women are paid less, even now, than men for the same skills.
Seasonal depression is more common in women than men
Women are more likely than men to feel depressed during the winter months’ colder temperatures and shorter days, according to research by Glasgow University.
Majority of consumers want insurers to incentivise healthy behaviour
Over half of consumers want insurance premiums to reflect healthy behaviours such as diet and exercise levels, new research has indicated.
HR must do more to retain older workers, government inquiry told
During a women and equalities committee oral evidence session on the role of older employees, many organisations offered guidance and raised concerns about the ageing workforce, and employers’ role in preparing for it, People Management Magazine wrote.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey says new technology will play a role in benefits communications
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 showed that 32% of employers believe new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, will play a part in benefits communications.
Cost of pension tax relief to reach £24bn
Pensions tax relief is expected to climb to £24bn this year, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has predicted.
77% of people are not using financial adviser when planning for retirement
Financial adviser services are worryingly underused according to a recent Aegon report to assess the nation’s confidence to retire comfortably.
Employers need to be more explicit in rewards communication to attract talent
People are more likely to apply for jobs where the employee benefits are made clear, research has shown.
Majority of over-45s have not planned or spoken about care in later life
Most people over the age of 45 have no plans in place for care in later life and are not clear on the government policy on elder care, according to a report.
Childcare company suggests employee eldercare vouchers pay for care in later life
Like childcare vouchers, tax free vouchers to pay for long term care costs should be offered to employees, suggests a childcare chain of nurseries.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey shows sharp increase in workplace mental health issues
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), says that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 shows a sharp increase in the number of employers reporting employee stress and mental health-related illnesses - from 55% last year to 68% in 2018.
World Cancer Day: ‘Becoming empowered may just save someone’s life’
With more than 112,000 people of working age diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year and 700,000 employees thought to be caring for someone with cancer according to cancer charity Macmillan, awareness-raising initiatives such as World Cancer Day has never been more important.
Challenging Blue Monday
January may be a time of great change and transformation for some, but for many, the third Monday in January has long been accepted as the most depressing day of the year thanks to a toxic combination of factors including darker and shorter days, post-Christmas blues and debt issues.
PMI and pensions are most valued by staff
Employees are showing a keenness for what the industry calls “safety net” products with pensions at the top and private medical insurance (PMI) at number two.
Grandparents who help mothers return to work to face conflict as pension age increases
It’s not unusual that grandparents are relied on to help mothers get back to work after having children, but the rising pension age means that they too face pressure to continue working.
Government urged to extend salary sacrifice arrangements for low-paid workers
The government is under pressure from industry experts to review salary sacrifice legislation so it benefits those on lower incomes.
Aon advises employers about impact of digital GP services on employee health strategies
Employees that live and work in London zones 1-3 have a choice between remaining with their current general practitioner (GP) or leaving the service.
Communicate employee benefits once a month, employers advised
Just under a third of UK employers communicate employee benefits packages to staff at least once a month, new research has shown.
What investment strategies can support people through retirement?
Investment choices in the run up to retirement used to be simple, with most people opting for low risk options to match the annuity they bought to generate an income.
Four factors to consider when simplifying pensions
The author of The Cat in the Hat may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of pensions commentators, but in this case he’s hit the nail on the head.
Are you communicating your pension scheme effectively?
Employees love pensions, with a company scheme often appearing in the top most popular benefits in our annual Employee Benefits & Trends Survey. But, as they become the norm in the workplace, effective communications are essential to ensure employees get the most out of their pensions and their appreciation remains high.
Aon Health Survey shows just 4% of employers don’t see a direct correlation between employee health and performance
The survey of 200 UK organisations also shows that health and wellbeing is rising up the corporate agenda, with 96% of employers either agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are responsible for improving employee health behaviours.
Low pay preventing staff from saving for retirement, research finds
A significant majority of UK staff are failing to pay into pension schemes despite auto-enrolment which has been in force since 2012, the TUC have found.
Employers at risk of group risk protection breeches
A significant number of employers may have group risk protection policies that are out of date because the age at which people can retire has changed.
DWP uses social media and celebrities to reach a wider audience for its ‘You work, your pension works’ campaign
Social media is a big part of our digital lives – so much so that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is tapping in to reach the whole of the UK’s workforce including audiences it has, in the past, struggled to reach, such as young people.
Worrying rise in consumer debt whilst Britain struggles with downgraded economy
Half of the UK population are “financially vulnerable”, the Financial Conduct Authority have warned, following a major household survey of 13,000 consumers.
Work-related stress - why it's time to focus on the organisation, not the individual
Most workplace stress interventions focus on the individual, either strengthening their resilience or providing the treatment required to help them recover. But, while there's a need for these interventions, employers should focus much more on the organisation and how it contributes to employees' wellbeing.
Management commitment - what it takes to reduce work-related stress
Management commitment to tackle work-related stress is essential. Without this it's virtually impossible to create the right culture to prevent and manage work-related stress effectively.
What are the causes of stress and what helps employees?
Employers have a legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, including minimising the risk of stress-related illness or injury. But to do this successfully, it's important to understand the causes of stress and the support available to employees.
Give working carers more support, say employees
Those with caring responsibilities should be entitled to the same level of workplace support as working parents, according to findings of the SimplyHealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker which measures consumer attitudes and behaviours towards health and wellbeing.
Majority of employees unable to disclose significant personal issues with their boss
Around two-thirds of UK employees are hiding important aspects of their lives at work, new data has revealed.
Aon's acquisition of Portus Consulting approved by Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved Aon's purchase of Portus Consulting, a highly-regarded, independent UK-based employee benefits firm. Portus has a leading position in the UK professional services market, particularly the legal sector and among SMEs with 50 to 750 employees.
Thousands more receiving mental health treatment than ten years ago
Increasing numbers of people are receiving private mental health treatment, new data has revealed.
Pensions provisions resurrected in new Finance Bill
Staff could soon get an income tax exemption for the first £500 of employer-arranged pensions advice if the second Finance Bill 2017 passes through Parliament.
Nearly 6m workers have gone into work feeling mentally unwell
The subject of mental health has made news headlines over the last few years, with more and more celebrities sharing their experiences of depression and anxiety.
Aon data shows only 20% of employers measure ROI of employee benefits
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that data from The Benefits Score, Aon’s new strategic benchmarking tool, shows that just 20% of medium to large companies are measuring the return on investment (ROI) of their benefits programmes.
Eldercare - when will it become the norm as an employee benefit?
People are living longer thanks to advances in medical science, and this has led to the emergence of a sandwich generation, aged 30 to 60, who need to manage their work-life balance to better cope with caring for their children as well as elderly parents.
Employers and employees warned of tax charges as a result of new OPRA regulations
Employers and employees need to be ready for potential tax charges as a result of the new Optional Remuneration Arrangement (OPRA) rules, says Aon's Catherine Stait, and benefit redesign may be needed.
National Dementia Carers' Day 2017, Sunday 10th September
According to Alzheimer's Research, over a third of the UK population (38%) know a family member or close friend living with dementia. It's not surprising when you consider there are around 850,000 people currently living with the illness.
Aon says employers may need significant benefit redesign as a result of OPRA regulations
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that tax advantages removed with new Optional Remuneration Arrangement (OPRA) rules, mean both employers and employees will need to be ready for tax charges.
Decline in living standards as inflation surges and welfare cuts start to bite
Working families are struggling to make ends meet, a social policy research and development charity has warned.
Ill-thought out remote working practices can damage staff health
Badly managed remote working practices could harm staff health and wellbeing, a wellbeing specialist has warned.
Why healthy snacks may actually be bad for you
So-called healthy workplace snacks may not be as healthy as they otherwise appear if a recent study carried out by a nutritionist is anything to go by.
Lightening up pension communications
"Do you know what's boring? Emails from your pension scheme." This tweet, written by a millennial, did not come as a surprise to chartered financial planner, Mel Kenny, but it did make him ponder on the huge job ahead for advisers and those putting together pension communications. It's well known that millennials and consumers in general, are rather disengaged when it comes to pensions. The majority may now be signed up to a workplace pension scheme thanks to auto-enrolment, but many remain disengaged and even bored of pension-related communications.
Office workers less active than 75-year-olds
The traditional 9-5 is creating a new generation of sedentary male middle-aged workers who are less active than over 75-year-olds, research by Edinburgh University has revealed.
Aon appoints Jerry Edmondson in new strategic communication and engagement role
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has hired Jerry Edmondson in the new role of strategic communications and engagement proposition leader. Jerry joins the communications team with a specific focus on helping employers change employee behaviour through engagement.
Employees would move jobs for better employee benefits
New research suggests employees would change jobs if the employee benefits on offer were more relevant to their personal circumstances.
Life milestones prompt employees to save for retirement
Nearly half of employees are only prompted to save for their retirement due to a major life milestone such as getting married, turning a certain age or starting a family, new research has found.
Aon says musculoskeletal issues dominate in UK health data
In a study of reports from private medical insurers (PMI), Aon found that 31% of claims were for musculoskeletal concerns, while 15% were cancer related, 4% were for mental disorders and 4% for urology.
Auto-enrolment first employee staging date
Businesses employing staff for the first time on or after the 1st October 2017 will be required to comply with auto-enrolment on the day the first employee starts work, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed.
My Story: What we do to people's pensions matters
Pension freedoms: freedom and choice for the average person, that's the idea anyway. It means retirees now have the power to draw their pension when and how they want. It has given people choice and complete control over how they spend their money. It sounds ideal, what could possibly go wrong?
The biggest risks to employee health - and how employers can help
Keeping your employees healthy and happy is good for business. The workforce demographic is, and will continue to change, especially as more and more of us will need to work well into our 60s, 70s and beyond.
Aon acquires Portus Consulting
It has been announced today that Aon has acquired Portus Consulting, a highly-regarded, independent UK-based employee benefits firm. Portus has a leading position in the UK professional services market, particularly the legal sector and among SMEs with 50 to 750 employees.
Significant differences between men and women's pension savings, report finds
There's a "stark difference" in pension savings between men and women, a pension expert has warned, after a report reveals that men's pension income is three times bigger than women's.
Employee wellbeing - making the connections
There's plenty of buzz around employee wellbeing, with everything from fresh fruit and fitness challenges to mindfulness sessions and financial education being promoted as key to employee happiness. But, while any of these could lead to improvements in your employees' health and happiness, understanding the connection between physical, mental and financial wellbeing can help you achieve the best results.
Financial wellbeing - is it an employer's responsibility?
There's plenty of buzz around financial wellbeing, with everything from education and advice to loans and discounted goods being promoted as key to employee happiness. But, before bombarding your employees with the latest money must-haves, it's important to consider your role and responsibilities in their financial wellbeing.
Making health and wellbeing work
Awareness of the importance of employee health and wellbeing is at an all-time high, with more and more organisations looking to encourage employees to transform everything from their waistlines and stress levels to their exercise regimes. And it's hardly surprising. Healthy, happy employees tend to be more productive and motivated, take less time off sick and rack up fewer claims on their health insurance benefit plans.
Presenteeism growing issue for UK businesses
Presenteeism, where staff go to work despite illness, is becoming more of an issue for British businesses than absenteeism, it has been claimed.
Boosting click through rates
Creating high click through rates for employee benefit communications is never easy and naturally creates anxiety about whether we are using the right medium or the right messages. So, to then be told your methods are outmoded or sub-standard is doubly disappointing. A recent, admittedly small survey written up in HR Magazine may have confirmed some HR teams worst fears, by stating that one in five HR, benefit and reward specialists admitted their employees consider their benefits communications terrible.
HR team members support up to 15 employees a year
HR professionals are responsible for the wellbeing of up to 15 employees with a mental health condition each year, new research has found.
Closing pensions triple lock would hurt young people the most
Young people could have the most to lose if the pensions triple lock is scrapped, new research has revealed.
What is the state of pension scheme membership in the UK?
By next year, some seven million people will be saving into a pension scheme as auto enrolment reaches all employees. As a result, the Government calculates there has been a 37% increase in the numbers saving into a private sector pension scheme with a total of 16 million people now taking part.
Wearable technology could improve productivity despite staff reservations
Workplace wearables can help increase productivity and staff engagement, a third of employee respondents to a survey have claimed.
Aon says employers need to comply with new OPRA regulations
OPRA is the new term for salary sacrifice and with this change comes the concept of Type A and Type B arrangements.
Working parents go for days without spending time with children
Workplace pressure is causing parents to go days without interacting with their children, a leading charity has warned.
How much should employees put aside for their retirement?
All these percentages are bandied about as thresholds for good or acceptable pension saving levels. The first is the bare minimum that government has decreed is enough for auto-enrolment.
Millennials fear they may never be able to retire
Millennials fear they may never earn enough to retire completely, after research found that those currently earning £24,000 a year would need £1million to fund their retirement and maintain their standard of living.
Helping your employees become healthier and wealthier
With workplace wellbeing and pensions initiatives now commonplace, we should all be feeling a bit healthier and wealthier. But, while some of us may have got the exercise or pension bug, unfortunately our data suggests that, overall, there's been very little improvement in either of these factors in the UK.
Aon health and wealth study identifies four ways employers can support employee wellbeing in a changing economic climate
The new report, 'Wellbeing: Examining the correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing' examines and interprets data from various global and regional sources, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Aon's own research and client base data. The result is a picture of what is changing in employee health and wealth and what that means for employers.
Designing a wellbeing programme relevant to employees
In Aon's latest whitepaper, Wellbeing: The correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing, it asks whether employers are doing enough to support employee wellbeing.
The power of sharing experiences of mental health
Brave individuals sharing their experiences is an incredibly effective way to get conversations started about mental health in the workplace. The more people talk about mental health, the more the level of literacy on the issue improves, the more stigma is overcome and problems dealt with.
How can you help your employees access mental health care?
We sat down with Charles Alberts, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits to explore the most common pathways for employees to access mental health care and some of the obstacles they may face in getting that care.
Staff still reluctant to discuss mental health concerns with their boss
The majority of employees are reluctant to discuss mental health problems with their line manager, research from mental health charity Mind has found.
Mental health issues prevalent among disadvantaged backgrounds, Aon whitepaper finds
There is a clear link between health and wealth, with those from disadvantaged backgrounds being more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, Aon has said.
Pensions triple lock under governmental review
The pensions triple-lock scheme which guarantees a minimum increase in state pension per year could be ditched in favour of a cheaper so-called 'double lock' option.
New whitepaper highlights workplace mental health
A new whitepaper investigating the correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing has been published by Aon which discusses the growing prevalence of mental health in the workplace.
Important benefit changes to income protection
Are you aware of how government cuts to benefits could leave employers liable for increased payments to claimants of group income protection (GIP) schemes?
A recent employer seminar Aon held found that only 1 in 10 were well briefed on the changes that came into force on 6 April, so if you were not fully informed you are in good company.
The low-down on salary sacrifice changes
As the government legislates for salary sacrifice changes, due to become law from 6 April 2017, Jeff Fox looks at what these changes are and how they’re likely to impact on employee benefits.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey says 55% of employers have seen an increase in stress and mental health related illnesses
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), says that its annual Benefits and Trends Survey showed 55% of employers saw an increase in the number of stress and mental health related illnesses.
The no-nonsense guide to implementing a successful health and wellbeing scheme
We know that employees with a strong wellbeing are significantly more likely to be engaged at work, not to mention being generally healthier. Indeed, 92 per cent of UK employers polled for our 2016 EMEA Health survey saw a clear correlation between health and employee performance.
Aon warns Budget changes are likely to impact all employers in at least one way
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has said that the measures introduced in this year's Budget could create significant and costly changes for employers, unless they take urgent action.
New retirees better off than working families
A new generation of financially-secure retirees are driving income growth for a select few, new think tank analysis has revealed.
Aon Benefit & Trends survey shows 90% of employers want to increase engagement in benefits, but only 36% have a communications strategy
Among the survey's key findings are that the main objectives for implementing online for flexible benefits are to increase employee engagement (85%), employee choice (76%) and retention (67%). However, Aon warns that one of the lowest-rated objectives - governance (11%) - makes it difficult for employers to understand whether a scheme is fit for purpose or whether objectives are met.
Financial stress linked to poor mental health
There is a direct correlation between financial ill-health and mental health issues, the CIPD has said.
Aon partners with SmarterInvestment and Unum to help employees invest in tax-efficient stocks & shares ISAs simply and wisely
Aon Employee Benefits is to partner with SmarterInvestment and Unum to offer workplace ISAs.
Scam guidance tool launched for consumers
A new scam guidance tool to help consumers avoid pension scams has been launched by The Pensions Advisory Service.
Workplace affects health and wellbeing, say staff
Employers should focus on creating engaging and pleasant workspaces for staff to improve employee wellbeing, a new report out this month has argued.
Aon says salary sacrifice remains a powerful benefits mechanism for employee and employer savings
71% of delegates polled at our salary sacrifice seminar last week felt they would have to rethink benefit strategy as a result of the changes announced in the Autumn Statement. 71% percent also felt that the erosion of salary sacrifice would impact benefits negatively.
'Disadvantaged groups' would not benefit from state pension freedoms, experts warn
So-called state pension freedoms, where early access to state pension may be granted to certain groups of people, may not benefit its target audience, industry experts have warned.
Line managers not trained to support staff with cancer
The majority of line managers lack training to support staff who have been diagnosed with cancer and other long-term medical conditions, a new poll has revealed.
Denied flexible working requests force working mums to hand in notice
A significant number of working mothers are having to leave their jobs because of denied flexible working requests, a new survey has revealed.
Aon warns employers to be ready for changes to state benefit
Employers insuring Group Income Protection benefits need to be ready for upcoming changes to state provision.
Aon warns employers of immediate salary sacrifice challenges
Employers need to communicate carefully the potential for changes to salary sacrifice legislation for all benefit annual enrolments that take place between now and December.
Proposals unveiled for tax-free financial advice allowance
Under new government proposals announced last month, Brits could be entitled to a £500 tax-free Pensions Advice Allowance which can be withdrawn from pensions to fund financial advice.
Aon warns the Insurance Act 2015 needs to be an employee benefits priority
Employers insuring employee benefits need to be ready for the Insurance Act 2015, which comes into effect from 12 August 2016. The Act replaces law that has been in place since 1906 and applies to all non-consumer insurance policies that incept, vary or renew on or after 12 August 2016.
Majority of employers have no policies in place to manage cancer diagnosis
Nearly three-quarters of UK employers have no policies in place to manage cancer diagnosis among employees, research by Check4Cancer has revealed.
Discriminatory gender pricing could return in event of a Brexit
Consumers could once again experience price variations for the same insurance products and annuities depending on their gender, if the UK votes for a Brexit in June, life insurance multinational Aegon has warned.
Increasing numbers of employers requesting auto enrolment help
Growing numbers of small UK businesses are requesting auto enrolment support from the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) new figures have shown.
Aon clients win four top honours at the Employee Benefit Awards
Aon Employee Benefits has supported four clients to win at the annual Employee Benefits Awards ceremony at the Artillery Garden at the HAC, London.
Aon says rising costs associated to PMI could make it an elite benefit
Aon says rising costs associated with Private Medical Insurance (PMI) are creating pressure on HR and employers to find extra budget, without seeing any further advantages for staff.
Companies cutting employee benefits to fund National Living Wage should be 'named and shamed'
Companies withdrawing employee benefits and reducing rates of pay in order to afford the newly-implemented National Living Wage should be 'publically shamed', Chancellor George Osborne has said.
Not enough staff holding critical illness policies to protect against illness
Critical illness such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson's Disease affects one in 7 Brits yet just 1 in 20 are actually critical illness policy holders, new research has revealed.
On Your Feet Britain day promotes active working
A campaign to encourage UK employees to get more active in the workplace whilst raising awareness of the adverse effects of sedentary working, will take place at the end of April.
New pensioners at risk of receiving less than full pension rate
Over half of new pensioners set to retire in the first year of the new state pension introduction will receive less than the full rate, a new report has revealed.
Budget - Aon EB
Chancellor George Osborne delivered the 2016 Budget on 16 March. The government had promised that this would have included an announcement on the outcome of its consultation on pension tax relief, but it has published only a summary of the responses it received and suggested that the new Lifetime ISA will address some of the issues raised in the consultation.
Grandparent leave consultation to be launched in May
The government are set to launch their first consultation into extending shared parental leave for grandparents, it was announced during last month's budget.
Women entitled to early pension access
Women could be entitled to withdraw their pensions earlier than scheduled in return for lower payments, if government proposals go ahead.
Lost tax relief for low earners, pension minister warns
Low earners could be cut out of auto enrolment into workplace pensions if pension contributions are calculated with net pay arrangements, pensions minister Ros Altmann has warned.
Pensions best retirement-saving method, says IFS
Pensions remain the most effective way to save for retirement, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.
Budget 2016: 'benefits the next generation'
Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his eighth budget which 'puts the next generation first'. A reduction in corporation tax, the introduction of a new lifetime ISA for those under 40 and an increase in the personal allowance threshold were among the key announcements of interest to businesses and their staff.
Aon to discuss gamification in pensions at Employee Benefits Connect
LONDON (2 March, 2016) – Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), will discuss gamification as part of its examination of how to engage ‘Generation Z’ (Gen Z) in the workplace at Employee Benefits Connect.
Brits unaware of who to talk to about mental health issues
A significant number of Brits do not know where to access support for mental health issues and who to ask for help, new research out this month has uncovered.
Aon Benefits and Trends Survey shows nearly 40% of employers drive Health & Wellbeing strategy without a clear view
LONDON (24 February, 2016) - Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has found in its annual Benefits and Trends survey that nearly 40 percent of employers do not use any data to drive corporate health and wellbeing strategies or target costs. The survey also showed, however, that increasing numbers of employers want to understand health risks affecting their employee population.
Technology should be better utilised to manage employees' health and wealth on a global scale, say experts at Aon Employee Benefits
LONDON (18 February, 2016) - Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), says technological developments are enabling employers to reach out to employees on a global basis, yet too many are still confining their benefits strategy by region, even though research has shown that there are global patterns to health and wealth risks. This is according to commercial director & head of software innovation Tobin Murphy-Coles and Matthew Lawrence, head of broking, health and risk proposition who are due to speak at Employee Benefits Connect in March.
Aon wins Firm of the Year and Best Use of Technology at Corporate Adviser Awards
LONDON (12 February, 2016) – Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has won two awards at the Corporate Adviser awards ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel in London. It has been named Firm of the Year and received the award for Best Use of Technology by a Corporate Adviser.
Smaller employers could struggle with auto enrolment compliance
Smaller employers have fewer resources to deal effectively with auto enrolment duties, a new report released by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has found.
Unhealthy work-life balance harms family life and productivity levels
The majority of UK employees are lacking a healthy work-life balance, creating an adverse effect on productivity levels, a new report has revealed.
State pension age increase not 'viable' if public health doesn't improve
Brits are not 'healthy enough' to work much beyond 60, a leading economist has warned, despite government plans to increase state pension age to 68.
Millennials 'most demanding' of their employers, study shows
Millennials require more time and support from their line managers than other workplace generations, new research has revealed.
Employee Benefits should complement - not substitute - good remuneration packages
Employee benefits should be used alongside good wages and bonuses rather than as a replacement, a recruitment expert has advised, following research which shows that the majority of UK staff would prefer a pay rise to workplace benefits.
Chancellor promises cap on early exit fees for pension savers
Savers wanting to access their pension funds and take advantage of pension freedoms will no longer face extortionate exit fees, thanks to government plans to cap them.
Aon's Bigblue Touch is judged as 'value for money' by independent assessment
LONDON, (1 February 2016) - Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has announced that the Governance Advisory Arrangement (GAA) for its Bigblue Touch contract-based defined contribution (DC) scheme has stated in the Chair's Annual Report that the scheme represents 'good value for money' . Bigblue Touch is one of the first schemes in the UK to have issued its annual report and the first to have assessed value for money at both accumulation and decumulation.
Pension scheme members to enjoy additional £1bn in tax relief this year
Brits are set to save an additional £1bn in tax relief during 2016 thanks to the increased take-up of workplace pension schemes via auto enrolment.
Global Medical Cost Increases in 2016 Expected to be 2.5 Times Higher Than General Inflation
LONDON (14 January, 2016) - A new report from Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), estimates that the average cost increases for employer-sponsored medical plans globally will be 9.1 percent in 2016. This is 5.5 percentage points higher than the global average projected inflation rate of 3.6 percent. In the UK, the increase in the costs of employer-sponsored plans is expected to rise by 9.3 percent.
Financial concerns could be putting off savers from retiring
A staggering one in ten Brits have said they 'never want to retire', whilst one in eight believe they will be between 71 and 80 years of age before they eventually retire. In addition, 8 per cent of young people aged between 18-24 years believe they will 'never' retire and nearly twenty per cent of those aged over 65 have admitted being 'reluctant' to give up work.
75% of employers believe they are responsible for influencing employee health, according to Aon Benefits and Trends Survey 2015
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has found in its annual Benefits and Trends Survey that three quarters of UK employers believe they are responsible for positively influencing employee health, yet many do not appear to be doing so in the most effective way.
Think Auto-enrolment duties are over? Think again
Pensions and auto-enrolment are rarely out of the headlines these days. Most prominent was the October launch of the Department for Work and Pensions' controversial awareness-raising campaign, Workie, featuring a large blue monster with the slogan, Don't Ignore the Workplace Pension. It may not have been to everyone's taste, but it certainly got a lot of people talking.
Younger workforce turning more to employers for financial advice than older generations
Younger employees aged between 18-24 are twice as likely to seek financial advice from their employer than those in their 50s and 60s, new research has indicated.
Cycle to work schemes 'contribute' to workplace health and wellbeing
Cycling to work can improve the health and wellbeing of employees whilst contributing to higher productivity levels, new research has found.
First of kind auto-enrolment fraud arrests
Several people have been arrested on allegations of auto enrolment fraud, it has been announced.
Computerised CBT does not benefit those with depression
Depression is not alleviated by computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) alone, new research has revealed.
Transitional pension protection information delayed
HM Revenue and Customs has admitted it cannot provide transitional pension protection details to those affected by the reduction in the lifetime allowance.
Aon Benefits and Trends survey 2015 prompts eight recommendations for employers
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has published its annual Benefits and Trends research which highlights issues faced by UK employers – along with common gaps in their management processes. Aon has set out eight recommendations to offset these challenges.
Shared parental leave to be extended to grandparents
Working grandparents will soon be entitled to time off to help with childcare, the government has announced.
Small employers are failing to comply with auto enrolment, whilst the DWP’s Workie is met with industry criticism
Increasing numbers of employees are concerned that their employers are failing to comply with auto-enrolment legislation, a new study suggests.
Most financial advisers expect further amendments to state pension over the next thirty years
The majority of financial advisers believe there will be significant changes to the state pension in the future, including a move towards a means-tested model, a less generous package overall and an increase in state pension age, research from pensions provider Aegon has found.
Investors want detailed workforce metrics to assess business performance
Human capital metrics, that is, metrics which provide measurable data about the workforce including sickness absence, workplace injury and health and wellness, are playing increasingly important roles for company investors.
Retirees not seeing the value in paying for independent financial advice
New industry research has revealed a worrying new trend among retirees who believe they do not need to get pensions advice, despite new pension changes which came into force in April.
Middle management more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety
Symptoms of depression and anxiety are more prevalent among staff in middle management than employees above or below them, new research has revealed.
Aon says challenges remain for auto-enrolment as it passes third birthday
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has warned that while there was much to celebrate as auto-enrolment passed its third birthday, challenges remain – notably the prospect of getting a further 10 million employees through the process.
Aon Employee Benefits boosts its DC team with two new appointments
Aon Employee Benefits has announced two new appointments to its Defined Contribution (DC) team.
Aon launches Bigblue Touch 4life
The ‘At Retirement’ service that offers drawdown, annuities and financial aggregation tools in an easy to access service
New Aon study into generational segmentation casts doubt on current practice
Aon employee Benefits says its latest study from Martha How, reward partner, suggests current practice into generational segmentation is too simplistic and not necessarily supportive of employee and employer needs.
Open salary policies would address gender pay gap
Operating transparent pay policies will help address the gender pay gap, says retail recruitment specialist, Retail Human Resources.
Bogus self-employed denied vital statutory benefits
UK workers who are incorrectly registered as self-employed are missing out on vital employee benefits, Citizens Advice has warned.
Businesses are continuing to fall foul of AE duties
Despite increased communications and guidance around auto-enrolment from The Pensions Regulator (tPR) and industry specialists, many UK businesses are continuing to fall foul of their compliance duties either from incorrect assumptions about the legislation or misinformation.
Aon works with The Pensions Regulator to give video advice on auto-enrolment
Aon Employee Benefits has worked with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to produce a series of videos designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) understand their auto-enrolment obligations.
Aon client ‘highly commended’ for pioneering flexible working scheme
Media agency MEC have been highly commended at the Employee Benefits Awards for their pioneering flexible working scheme, Smarter Working.
Eldercare as a benefit
Eldercare as an employee benefit is increasing in popularity among UK employees, research by travel insurance and assistance service provider Allianz Global Assistance has revealed.
Performance related pay - one of top priorities for reward departments
Developing performance-related pay initiatives is one of the top priorities for reward professionals in 2015, new research has found.
Rising childcare costs
The cost of raising a child from birth until 21 has risen to around £229,251 – a 63 per cent increase since 2003 - new industry research indicates. Experts say it has risen by almost twice the rate of annual inflation.
Shared parental leave legislation
Shared parental leave regulations have come into force this month, despite over a fifth of HR Directors admitting they are not ready for the new legislation.
Supporting women back to work
The government has announced a package of measures to encourage more women back to work following maternity leave.
Flex scheme gives staff 0.5% of salary plus NI savings to spend
IDS is an independent research organisation providing information and analysis in key areas across the employment field, including HR, employment law, pay and executive compensation.
Offering flexible benefits via salary sacrifice is becoming increasingly popular among UK employers
Nearly 60 per cent of UK employers now provide benefits funded by salary sacrifice schemes such as childcare vouchers, cycle-to-work schemes and additional pension contributions.
Employee engagement pay and reward
Employee engagement can be improved by the use of fair and effective pay and reward strategies, Workplace Savings & Benefits reports.
Benefit communications - employers cutting corners
Effective benefits communications can improve benefits take-up as well as staff motivation levels, says health and fitness coach Adam Strong.
The majority of UK employees say they value employer appreciation over a higher salary
71 per cent of respondents to the research carried out by corporate gift voucher company One4all Rewards, claimed they would forgo a higher salary elsewhere in order to remain working for an employer who thanked them regularly.
Mental health getting worse research finds
Staff mental health is ‘getting worse’ new research reveals, despite increased efforts to reduce stigma and implement workplace health initiatives.
UK businesses experiencing impact of dementia on workforce
A growing number of UK businesses are experiencing a rise in employees suffering from dementia, new research has found.
Flexible working can improve candidate attraction and retention
Flexible working can improve candidate attraction and retention, yet many employers are failing to make staff aware of their flexible working policy, says an industry expert.
Free absence management services underutilised
UK businesses are failing to make use of value-added benefit add-ons, worth up to £100 per employee, multinational insurance company Aviva have said.
New online benchmarking tool from Aon provides sector insights and measurable data against competition
Aon Employee Benefits has launched a new benchmarking database tool which provides UK organisations with market insights and measurable data compared with their competition. This online technology delivers quicker plan design benchmarking without manual collation.
Cancer screening HR backing
HR professionals have backed regular workplace cancer screening following new figures by cancer charity Macmillan which show that more people are surviving cancer than ever before.
Improving employee resilience
Improving employee resilience requires a strategic and sustained campaign rooted in the collective wellbeing needs of the workforce, says Charles Alberts, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits.
Tips for maintaining a healthy workforce
Employee health is very much on the corporate agenda right now, and with good reason, says Matthew Lawrence Head of Broking and Proposition for Health and Risk at Aon Employee Benefits.
Thousands of employees across the UK took part in the Workplace Challenge Midday Mile during May, as part of the first ever nationwide Workplace Health Week which ran from 18-22nd May.
Next government should do more for staff wellbeing
The next government should do more to improve staff wellbeing, nearly a fifth of UK employers and employees have said, according to industry research.
Managers don't believe stress warrants time off
Poor mental health, such as stress, anxiety and depression does not warrant time off work, say seven in ten UK employers.
New health Risk Forecaster from Aon helps manage corporate benefit costs
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has developed a modelling tool which helps companies to understand potential future benefit expenditure and to put in place strategies to help control health risk costs.
23% of employees are not taking holiday entitlements
Just under a quarter of UK employees are failing to take their full annual leave entitlements, research from Canada Life has shown.
HR not doing enough to tackle presenteeism
Presenteeism and work-life balance are not being adequately addressed in the workplace, despite stress being one of the most prevalent health and wellbeing issues, an industry report finds.
Staff absence and productivity levels
Growing numbers of UK employers are recognising the cost staff absence is having on their business, a UK health insurer has said, whilst a recent Aon survey has found that employers want to better understand staff health risks in order to reduce these costs as well as improving business performance.
Holiday pay ruling
The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) recent ruling that overtime should be included in holiday pay has resulted in a flurry of media headlines about the possible impact the ruling could have on British businesses.
Aon Employee Benefits encourages early detection of cancer
..with cancer incidence reaching a record high, employers are starting to respond to calls from the Department of Health to back the NHS’ fight against cancer and put services in place to encourage and ensure the early detection of cancer.
Retirement income gap between two generations of retirees
Two industry surveys have revealed a significant retirement income gap between those retiring this year and the next generation of retirees.
Pension scammers are targeting a significant number of retirees since the pension freedoms came into force in April.
Pension freedom consultation
A consultation to ensure pension providers are adhering to new pension freedom rules will be launched next month, the government has announced.
Denplan appoints Aon Employee Benefits as its auto-enrolment
Aon Employee Benefits, has been appointed by Denplan as its preferred supplier for an auto-enrolment solution – Aon’s Littleblue 2go.
Private pension age increase proposed
The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) has urged new pensions minister Ros Altmann to increase the private pension age to 60 by 2024.
First AE escalating fines issued
The numbers of UK organisations receiving auto-enrolment fines have increased in 2015, data from the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has revealed.
Positive about pension reform but worry about risk amends
The majority of UK employees hold conflicting views about pension reforms, with over 82 per cent feeling ‘positive’ about the new reforms whilst many are still concerned about the risks involved.
FCA ScamSmart campaign launch
A campaign designed to raise awareness into the increased risk of pension scams has been launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Re-enrolment could pose further challenges for employers
A significant number of employers are continuing to find auto-enrolment an administrative burden, with larger employers likely to find their on-going auto-enrolment duties particularly challenging.
Post election fears leave business reluctant to carry out pension related duties
Fears that a new government will ‘tinker’ with pension legislation has made many UK businesses hesitant in communicating DC changes to staff as well as preparing for auto-enrolment.
Aon says the first re-enrolments are coming up fast
Initial group of employers to auto-enrol need to review processes before key dates
A third planning retirement sooner
New pension freedoms have motivated employees to plan for their retirement earlier than they otherwise would, industry research has revealed.
Employers burdened by AE admin
Auto-enrolment administration is starting to have a significant impact on UK businesses, new research has indicated.
Surviving on a state pension research
A significant proportion of the over 40s have said they could not survive on the new state pension alone, according to new research by Partnership.
TPR stepping up AE comms
The Pensions Regulator is stepping up its auto-enrolment communications to employers of small businesses in a bid to reduce non-compliance.
Pension schemes unsustainable due to ageing workforce
According to the OECD’s 2014 Pensions Outlook report, workplace pensions are facing several challenges which are creating solvency issues for defined benefit (DB) schemes in addition to putting defined contribution (DC) schemes into question.
New HR pension tension
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has found in its annual survey that there is a widespread lack of understanding among employees of the value of their reward package, while uptake of total reward statements is low.
9 out of 10 want AE delay
The majority of small employers who have yet to reach their auto-enrolment staging dates want the process to be delayed until the latest pension reform changes have been implemented in full.
TPR issues first AE breaches
The Pensions Regulator has begun issuing out auto-enrolment fines to businesses who have failed to comply with auto-enrolment legislation.
Aon Employee Benefits integrates Standard Life auto-enrolment solution with Littleblue 2go auto-enrolment online platform
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON) has announced that Standard Life’s ‘Good to Go’ auto-enrolment qualifying pension scheme has been integrated with the Aon Littleblue 2go auto-enrolment platform.
CAB and TPAS to give pensions advice
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) are to give pension guidance to UK employees from April 2015, the government has announced.
Business fined for getting auto-enrolment wrong
Dunelm Soft Furnishings Ltd forced to make good unpaid contributions by The Pensions Regulator for getting auto-enrolment wrong
Most financially prepared regions in the UK
Scotland and the North of England are the most ‘financially prepared’ regions in the UK, according to a new analysis of the retirement savings scene.
Aon says employers must look to technology to help scheme members with new allowance changes
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that yesterday’s Budget announcement of reductions in the Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance has added a new concern for more and more people. In addition to just worrying about whether they have saved enough, some will now have to start thinking about how they plan around these new limits.
Bigblue Touch and YouGov survey
More than three quarters of those approaching retirement have failed to seek professional pension-related financial advice, a new YouGov survey has revealed.
Association for employee benefit and reward professionals launched
A professional association for those working within the reward and employee benefits space has been set up by a former editor of an HR publication.
Osborne's Emergency Budget - the main pointers
Austerity measures and tax rates were at the heart of the Emergency Budget this week, whilst salary sacrifice schemes remain untouched.
Budget commentary re Salary Sacrifice
Rumours ahead of the Summer Budget 2015 that salary sacrifice schemes would be attacked failed to materialise, however the government explicitly called out that the growth of such arrangements and their financial impact is being monitored. Organisations looking to introduce salary sacrifice schemes, especially for pension contributions, should factor in the potential restriction or removal of these schemes in the short-term when deciding whether or not to implement.
Trend for global employers to centralise benefits is held back by operational realities, according to Aon’s global benefits research
The research also shows that traditional multi-national pooling is on the wane, while captive funding for insured benefits and other financing initiatives are increasing.
GE2015 pensions and EBs impact
Following a surprise majority win for the Conservatives after opinion polls failed to accurately predict the outcome of the 2015 general election, what impact will the new government’s policies have on workplace pensions and benefits?
Gender pay reporting bill amendment
Businesses with more than 250 employees will be expected to reveal pay differences between their male and female employees, thanks to new legislation recently introduced in Parliament in the Equal Pay Transparency Bill 2015.
Aon wins two major awards at Workplace Savings and Benefits ceremony
Aon have taken home the title of Benefits Innovation of the Year for its Bigblue platform and Auto-enrolment Innovation of the Year for its Littleblue 2go SME solution.
Employment law 2015
Employers should be aware of several key legal areas which are likely to affect their businesses during 2015 and beyond, says employment law specialist Shoosmiths.
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