Case study: Pension schemes restructure for Ultimate Finance

Phil Kingston

With the help of Aon, Ultimate Finance introduced a new pension scheme for all employees, across various business units.

At the same time, they gave employees the opportunity to make pension contributions through salary sacrifice enabling both employees and Ultimate Finance to make National Insurance (NI) savings.

Phil Kingston, Finance Manager at Ultimate Finance commented: “We have taken massive strides from a multiple pension structure to one where our staff benefit from improved terms and have better awareness of their pension situation. It also enables Ultimate Finance to benefit from reduced administration and eligible (NI) savings”.

The problem

Ultimate Finance was operating three pension schemes across four group companies’ which was causing additional and unnecessary administration, taking up costly management time and meant employees were not benefiting from economies of scale with regards to pension scheme charges. The company was keen to streamline their pension offering and, at the same time, ensure employees understood and valued the pension provision offered by Ultimate Finance. Furthermore, Ultimate Finance was not making use of pension salary exchange.

The solution

Aon Employee Benefits (Aon) conducted a market review in Q3 2016 and recommended a new group pension provider with: a low annual management charge for employees, a modern default investment fund to cater for increased flexibility at retirement and the introduction of pension salary sacrifice to maximise (NI) savings for the company and its employees.

The launch was supported through an employee communication exercise and voluntary on-site seminars which were attended by over 125 employees across two main sites. Employees have access to Aon’s pension telephone and email helpdesk with further financial education seminars planned for 2017.

The new pension provider gives employees access to an engaging website offering people up to date information on their pension account, with the ability to manage their contributions and investments. Employees also benefit from an improved understanding on their financial situation at retirement, through an online ‘calculator’.

The result

  • The savings made by the introduction of pension salary exchange meant this project was cost neutral for Ultimate Finance
  • Ultimate Finance saves management time and associated costs with the operation of their pension schemes
  • The company has a coordinated pension strategy across group companies
  • Employees benefit from lower charges on their pension funds
  • Employees better understand and appreciate Ultimate Finance’s pension provision