United Kingdom


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JDE was founded in 2015 as the world’s leading ‘pure play’ coffee company when it merged the Mondelez International and Sara Lee brands (Kenco, L’OR, Maxwell House, Tassimo and Douwe Egberts).


Since the creation of JDE, they company recognised the need to harmonise terms, drive equity in pay and benefits across grades and locations.

JDE inherited 8 legacy pensions schemes.

The company’s governance focus was centred around legacy pension plans such as defined benefit schemes. The company wanted its focus to be around centered around more inclusive pension benefits package.

JDE’s main concerns

  • High administration focus regardless of active membership
  • Risks
    • Restricted access to data pre-2015
    • Inconsistencies in data transfers frustrating members - JDE challenged over T&C’s/service lengths - plus additional work when closing statements
  • Little employee understanding of pensions (just 30% thought they understood) what closing to future accrual meant
  • Two-tiered workforce (little engagement from existing DC provider/DC members)
  • Multiple processes/payments
  • Auto-enrolment needed streamlining.

For a small, medium sized enterprise, these issues needed to be addressed to ensure job security and business strength.


  • Create benefits equity; enrol all associates into one DC plan, with best terms for all employees
  • Incentivise existing DC members; move to new DC plan via bulk transfer
  • Improve company DC contributions to double-matched scheme to 10% ER – specifically, +75% onto highest contribution levels.
  • Give all members added flexibility - change contributions anytime
  • Change pension contributions from statutory pay amounts
  • Increase employee understanding, appreciation, activeness in retirement savings
  • Simplify/consolidate pensions provision
  • Review Default Investment Option:
    • More in-line with members’ likely needs
    • Introduce Core Fund range + wider choice beyond core range
    • Promote ESG options showing ESG credentials of default option/share with internal JDE #bethechange sustainability project
  • Drive JDE’s digitalisation plan/integrate into any online benefits platform
  • Additional savings vehicles ISA, LISA, GIA available to all


Aon worked with JDE to to increase engagement, push digitalisation and ensure simplicity for members on their pension journey – whether working in the office or shop floor. Investing time and resources into developing strong benefits that are both equitable and form part of our digital transformation was paramount.

Food companies generally offer c6-8% employer contributions. We created a double-matched scheme with a 15% total contribution, 10% from the employer.

JDE launched communication and education programmes to inform and support their employees, including:

  • One-to-one IFA support to all former DB members helping transition from DB to DC, cash benefit offered
  • Each DB member DB had transition support. An IFA team helped to share, on an individual basis, what would be best to generate best outcomes
  • Tight COVID-19 restrictions meant face-to-face sessions shifted to interactive on-line calls and recordings. Videos created on all topics, hosted on our pensions website & company intranet. A governance Webex transparently showed members pension plan changes
  • With 325 off-line employees, communication/education was driven onto the shop floor.
  • Online learning and smartphone access helped employees understand, manage and plan for retirement. This was important considering the average age of shopfloor workers was 47 years old.
  • System access continues if employee leaves
  • Summary communication letters to off-line population - all members contacted
  • Fund management – composition of default scheme/online modelling.

Under this new offering, everyone sees their individual pension in context with all other finances, savings and accounts, house prices and debts to give holistic financial position. This view and modelling tools enable informed choices to be made. All members can choose to invest/save with LISA, ISA and GIA (discounted pricing) available on the platform. They also gain from voluntary benefits/rewards to save more money.


Phenomenal results – cost efficiencies achieved major issues resolved, complicated and time-hungry processes simplified, and a modern and engaging employee offering was created.

  • Administration: 1 pension upload, reduced from 9 (only 10 minutes per month)
  • Pension flexibility
  • Education - 70% (420 employees) “have a good understanding of pension plans” (previously 30%/180 employees)
  • Introduced “applied” Governance to new scheme. Education programme helped more make adequate savings
  • Benefits equity - single benefits package/comms strategy
  • Pension Salary sacrifice now default. Contributions - full rate until members enter unpaid leave/return-to-work
  • Additional job and business security.

For employees JDE provide benefits equity - best for all which included:

  • Same contribution matching
  • GIP (previously for DB members, now for all employees) - 50% uptake
  • LA (previously 3x for DB/4x for DC, now 4x all)
  • Instant access to pension data (Aon’s BBT portal)
  • Wide range of self-selection pension
  • IFA support: (104 sessions over 2 weeks)
    • 57% former DB members paid 66% transition support payments into new pension
    • Unusual: blue-collar workforce usually take cash bonus
  • Education increased – reflected in contributions made into new scheme (aimed for 75% on highest contribution levels/82% opted-in):
    • Out of 586 new scheme members - Enrolment:
      • 92 at 3% (15%)
      • 10 at 4% (2%)
      • 484 at 5% or more (83%)
      • (98 of 484 (17%) pay > 5%)
  • Education sessions:
    • DB webinars/transfer implications
    • GPPP session - what it is and what you can choose to do?
    • Introduction to online tools
    • Bulk transfer session – outlining choices
    • Pension Salary sacrifice - “why do this”
    • Member UFPLS/Drawdown session - what they mean/how to use

Aon is continuing to work with JDE this year to embed its pension proposition into their benefits platform as part of Health, Wealth and Wellbeing.

How can we help?

For more information on our products or services, please get in touch by emailing us at [email protected] or calling us on 0344 573 0033.

Pensions & Finances


Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office: The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.

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