How to get more uptake across your employee benefits

Have you launched new financial benefits to employees (pensions, savings, loans, insurance…) and been disappointed by uptake? It’s not uncommon. 

The good news is, you’ve built a solid foundation … you’re just missing a key ingredient!

A pharmacy without a prescription

Think of your benefits as a pharmacy. Pharmacies are great, for people unwell right now, who can tell what the matter is. We all know a blocked nose can be treated with Vicks.

But often, people need a doctor to tell them what medicine they need. 

Unfortunately, financial health is a bit more like being overweight … it nags at us, but unless we become seriously financially unfit, it often doesn’t become an urgent priority. 

Hiding the vegetables

So, employers and the government have been clever, like parents hiding vegetables in their children’s dinner. They’ve auto-enrolled us all into pensions. We can opt out if we can be bothered, but most of us can’t. 

It’s absolutely a good thing to do, having inertia work for us. 

But, it misses a great opportunity: for us to actually value our pensions. Or better still: for us make sure we’re putting the right amounts in the right places.

Not just carrots anymore

The dilemma many-a-parent has faced … “I’m getting away with hiding carrots” … shall I add variety, or will the dinner go on the floor?!

Well, many employers have been brave. We don’t nowadays just have salary-linked pensions available, but often saving, investment, insurance, lending and pay advance products too.

These are brilliant in many ways – they’re easy, with slick online forms, engaging apps, and with money coming straight from your salary.

But, they lack the greatest beauty of pensions. The government doesn’t force us to use them (or opt out). And so, they often go far too ignored.

Enter the doctor

Financial coaches are the “doctor” we’ve been waiting for. They typically engage up to 50% of a workforce and by starting with their life goals (building security, raising kids, buying property, retiring comfortably, or anything else), coaches will work with the employee to develop a concrete plan.

Crucially, like a doctor’s prescription, the plan will answer the “how much” questions. How much should I spend, save, invest, contribute to my pension, borrow, mortgage and insure?

This leaves people crystal clear on what they need to do, and with a vivid outcome at stake. Bill in his 50s now knows how to secure a comfortable retirement, Sam in his 20s can see a path to owning property, and Jane in her 40s has a plan to put her kids through university … if they start eating their carrots, that is.

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