Thursday 22 August 2019 is officially Burger Day!

Burger lovers rejoice: today's anniversary pays homage to the ever popular meal

Some may say that if there was anybody working within financial services who was going to write something work-related and base it on burgers it would be me. I've got a bit of a reputation when it comes to food. I'm not sure it's deserved, but it is true to say I do have notably more experience in that department than I have in many others - creative writing being a fine example…

Anyway, it turns out Thursday 22 August 2019 is officially Burger Day. Obviously, this got me thinking about burgers (again) and what the core requirements for a good burger would be, and the voluntary items that could be included to make it even better.

Core requirements*

It’s safe to say that there are two staple essential requirements to any burger that no artery-clogging delight could be without:

  • patty - the calorific beating heartburger-41

  • sauce - aiding the lubrication of the left ventricle.

Now you may well argue that cheese should be included in this shortlist but on a personal note it takes it 50p over my allocated £5 food budget on the local football terraces, so I go without.

Voluntary items

  • cheese

  • bacon

  • lettuce

  • beef tomato

  • gherkin

  • a fried egg

  • red onion (Devil spawn. The first thing I remove if given the choice!)

Maybe if you’re feeling super fancy add a French dip into the mix?

@Steve, I know you’re wondering what I’m going on about. Please bear with me.

When on the hunt to batten down the craving for a high carb burger, depending on where you go, you could be greeted by several options. What would be best to cater for your individual needs?

Well, employers face a similar decision when it comes to providing workplace benefits. Everyone’s different.

Going back to my burger simile, what’s essential, and what’s a nice-to-have?

In a couple of unrelated client meetings I’ve been to this year, the employer has floated the idea of introducing a single benefits package to give employees the choice of which benefits to opt for instead of providing their staff pension and insurances. This could be a potentially cost-effective solution if guided by the right people but, most importantly, a flexible option for employees to be covered in the best way for them

As with the burgers, here are the core and voluntary items:

Core requirements

These core and voluntary benefits would include at least two essential items:

  • Group life assurance

  • Pension - at least in line with automatic enrolment minimums.

Some might argue that private medical insurance would be an essential item, but some employers might only offer this to senior staff and directors as it could go beyond their budget if offered to all employees.

Voluntary items

Employers with the budget to really look after their workforce could also offer some nice-to-have options:

  • private medical insurance

  • healthcare cash plan

  • health screenings

  • dental insurance

  • gym membership (the red onion of the category!)

  • cycle to work schemes

  • the opportunity to buy and sell annual leave.

Things could also go a stage further and an employer could introduce a wildcard opportunity for staff to receive a ‘cash in lieu of voluntary benefits’ option when a lifestyle change might call for it (ensuring statutory minimums are still met, of course) making sure it’s not seen as inducement. However, this one’s all about the existing culture within the company, and like the French dip, this might be a step too far for some employers.

When it comes to making a decision, burger-wise, additional assistance is always available, whether that’s in the form of a knife and fork, a fancy menu to guide you in the selection of burger filling, or an over-zealous waiter (yes, I’m fine thank you, you only gave me my meal ten seconds ago).

In much the same way, Punter Southall Aspire is also able to offer additional assistance. I mean, why would you want to talk about anything non-burger related? If you have a question about burgers, employee benefits, or pensions, you can contact us on 020 3327 5500 or by email at

Or, you can ask for me specifically if you want to know what French dip is.

*The bun has been excluded in the burger categories. For avoidance of doubt, this would be the wrapper of a benefit package in my above comparison.

Posted by Tim Cooke

Topics: Employee Communication, Employee Engagement

New call-to-action

Ask The Experts

Want to get in touch?
Just fill out the form below and we will be in touch shortly.


Next Generation Savings

Changing Workplace Savings Behaviour for the Better



We provide consultancy services to employers and trustees on contract-based and trust-based schemes, including master trusts. Our proposition encompasses governance, investment, administration and communications.



Establishing and governing the ideal workplace pensions and savings for your employees can be complex and time consuming. That’s where we come in.


Engagement & Education

We use innovative communication channels and modern technologies to help educate, engage and inspire employees across a range of financial topics.


Find out more


With greater choice and freedom in how and when individuals are able to access their pension fund, there is now an even greater need for early education and advanced planning. Find out how we help.



Our investment research division analyses and rates over 18,000 DC investment funds. The insight we have enables us to support your investment objectives, making sure they're on track to deliver.


Health & Risk

Our health & risk service provides tailored combinations of cover and cost to exactly match each employer's requirements, helping you get best value for your benefits spend.