The Latest, Breaking Company News and Views

Employee Benefits & Staffcare publish research into latest benefit trends - 15/05/2017
Employee Benefits & Staffcare have published joint research that highlights how employers are responding to recent changes in the benefit market and wider economy. The research recieved 271 responses from readers of employeebenefits.co.uk and was undertaken in February/March 2017.
 

Key Findings

82% Of respondents offer benefits because they are an effective retention tool.
20% of respondents have or will change the mechanism by which they offer benefits affected by the changes to salary sacrifice arrangements.
52% of respondents source benefits directly frorm a provider.
88% of respondents look for ease of use from their benefits technology.
36% of respondents provide personalised total reward statements for staff.
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Standard Chartered Bank's Global Head of Pensions and Benefits joins Staffcare - 02/05/2017
In what is an exciting development for the benefits industry, one of its leading figures, Marcus Underhill, has joined the employee benefits solutions provider, Staffcare, in the newly created role of Director of Engagement and Insights.

Marcus was previously Global Head of Pensions and Benefits at Standard Chartered Bank and has extensive Global and UK experience in reward and benefits technology and aligning it to meet client needs.

Ray Sieber, Managing Director at Staffcare, said: “I’m delighted that Marcus is joining us during such a pivotal period in the market. His tremendous experience in employee benefits, both in the UK and Asia, will be invaluable to our partners and direct clients alike.  As employee benefits continue to play an ever more strategic role in employee engagement and wellbeing, it is important for us to underpin our 13 year tradition of offering best of breed technology through having leading expertise on board to help us to continue to develop the best possible solutions whilst also being available to support and offer valuable insights to our users”

Marcus Underhill said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Staffcare at this exciting time.  Modern technology enables us to build really compelling stories for the employees of our clients and I’m looking forward to being of value to Staffcare’s clients and partners in the future.   There is a great opportunity to lower the administration burden by doing things much faster and more effectively and with lower risk, that simultaneously also excites online users.”
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Staffcare partners with Portus to offer financial guidance software moneygym - 14/02/2017
  • Financial guidance software moneygym will now be available from Staffcare
 
  • moneygym was developed by Portus Consulting in response to the growing need for affordable financial guidance in the UK market

Staffcare will now include moneygym as an integral part of its total employee benefits solution as a result of an agreement with Portus.

moneygym is an online financial planning tool which allows users to enter their financial data and calculate their long-term income requirements. They can then model changes to their savings, pension, property, investments and other income and expenses using smart interactive functions. The platform features a virtual assistant to provide guidance and help users get the most out of the site.

Ray Sieber, Managing Director at Staffcare, says “Our totally automated, tailor made smart software solutions enable employers to manage their employee benefits programmes efficiently and engage employees.

“The environment for employers and employees has never been more demanding, especially with the new Pension Freedoms and an ageing workforce driving focus on financial wellness and planning.

“By integrating moneygym into our proposition, employers will now be able to provide their employees with ready access to financial guidance to help them plan ahead and make the right choices. “   

 “We’re delighted to be working with Staffcare to bring moneygym to a wider audience,” said Dave Middleton, CEO at Portus. “moneygym is designed to help employers provide their employees with support in managing their long-term savings and financial decisions, including making the most of their benefits.

“This is a great way for employers to support the wellbeing of their staff by reducing the likelihood of financial stress and helping them tackle complex retirement decisions in a simple and user friendly way.”

moneygym has been sold to 6,000  users to date. New functionality, including ISA purchasing, will be introduced in the coming months. 
 
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Changes to Salary Sacrifice - 19/12/2016
The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced changes to Salary Sacrifice in his first Autumn Statement on 23 November 2016. This followed a Government consultation which closed in October.

While the Income Tax and National Insurance advantages of some employee benefits are to be removed starting in April 2017, the changes were not as far reaching as some had feared. In particular, as shown below, there are no changes to some key benefits commonly associated with Salary Sacrifice.
 
Benefit via Salary Sacrifice Affected
Pensions
(including advice)
No
Childcare
(vouchers, workplace nurseries, directly contracted childcare)
No
Cycle to Work No
Ultra-low emission cars
(max 75g/km of CO2)
No
Other cars Yes
Other benefits
(e.g. gym membership, mobile phones, computers, parking at work, accommodation, school fees, holiday purchase)
Yes

Employees who have entered into a Salary Sacrifice arrangement with their employer prior to 6 April 2017, will remain under the pre-2017 rules until the arrangement ends, is modified, changed or renewed, or April 2018 at the latest. However, the April 2018 deadline is extended to April 2021 for cars, accommodation and school fees. Employers with Salary Sacrifice arrangements which include affected benefits will need to review their benefits programme for new and existing employees to assess the impact on the employees and the business.

What are we doing about this?
We are working to ensure that our software is updated to reflect these changes and we will be in touch with clients and distributors. Meanwhile, if you would like any further information or to discuss this please contact your Account Manager.
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