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  • Tyrone Skipper

UK employers are opening up to flexible retirement savings


Flexible practices for retirement have been an ongoing discussion for some time now and while many see it as a win-win scenario for individuals as well as employers who create proper initiatives to enable this process, others haven’t exactly warmed up to the idea just yet, that is, until now.


As it stands, there seems that there are employers who are actually opening up to the idea of flexibility in the financial choices of their employees. Retirement is a large part of the wellbeing of workers and can even go as far as affecting the way they behave and the decisions they make in terms of their careers.


Many players from various industries are beginning to realise this and are taking steps towards a more progressive system that’s based on flexibility and understanding with regards to retirement savings.

According to a Willis Towers Watson survey, about a third of employers in the UK are willing to help participants use retirement savings for other financial needs over the next two years.


This survey involved 200 benefits executives and pension plan trustees and concluded that 38% of the largest companies (running with more than 5,000 employees) are expecting to offer greater retirement plan flexibility over the course of the next 24 months which shows a rise from 6%. Comparatively, 32% of midsize corporations (with less than 5,000 employees) are on the lookout to enhance retirement flexibility for all employees, up from 11%. Small enterprises on the other hand (with less than 1,000 employees) are expected to increase to 19% from 8%.


Willis Towers Watson’s director of wealth and workplace savings, had this to say about the findings from the survey: “The picture emerging from this research is one of significant flux both in workplace retirement provision, and in the wider employee benefits package,”


“While managing cost remains a key factor, organizations of all sizes increasingly are willing to embrace new ways of structuring and delivering benefits. Employers appear increasingly keen to view retirement saving less as a stand-alone issue, and more as an integral part of their employees’ wider financial planning and wellbeing and are exploring new ways of delivering this support.”

These findings indicate that executives are preparing to increase the choices offered within benefits.

Concurrently, many other participants of the survey stated that they’ll be looking into reinforcing existing financial wellbeing programs. However, 40% of these executives aren’t looking to prioritise just yet, deciding instead to maintain the current level of spending when it comes to benefits or retirement provisions of employees.


Could this be the beginning of a more flexible work structure where the financial wellbeing of employees is taken under serious consideration? These statistics point towards that scenario. This, in turn, could lead to improved retirement scenarios for so many workers that depend on employer leniency.

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