Over my last few blogs, we’ve been discussing the ways in which people who access their pension pots early, under pension freedoms, can sabotage their own retirements…
Some people end up paying enormous tax bills, wiping out a large part of their pension pot, because they were unaware of the relevant tax laws.
Others have used the funds to pay for home improvements, for gambling, and even expensive plastic surgery.
I think we can all agree this is tragic, if people are left struggling in retirement.
But as an employer, is it any of your business?
Given that people can spend their money any way they like, should you be taking reasonable steps to stop staff members squandering their pension pots before they even retire?
I believe it’s both your moral duty – and in your self-interest.
First, the moral duty.
As an employer, you have a duty of care towards your employees.
These are people who rely on you, to some extent, for income, for fulfilment, and even for their social lives.
It is up to you to look out for their health, safety and welfare, again within reason.
This is not just theory. It’s something you already do.
That’s why you provide them with a good pension in the first place, and why you encourage them to contribute to it.
You want the best for your staff – and helping them retire when they want, in a comfortable way, is part of that.
So it doesn’t make sense to spend all those years helping them to save into their pension….
Running comms campaigns to get them to save even more….
But then, when they hit 55, sit back and watch people make tragic decisions about their pension pot, which can wreck their retirement.
Especially when you could so easily direct them to good financial advice and guidance.
Offering a seminar on how to plan for retirement, encouraging people to use a pensions hotline or book an appointment with a pensions advisor, or even just directing your over 55’s to resources on pensions freedoms are small gestures on your part.
But for your staff, it can make all the difference between a happy retirement – and no retirement.
So why not help steer them towards the former?
>> Contact me today to discuss how you can offer those services to your staff <<
The truth is, it is not just in your employees’ interest.
It’s in your company’s interest too.
Caring about the wellbeing of employees means they’re ultimately happier and more productive in the office.
Studies¹ show that around 40% of UK employees experience stress due to their finances, which makes them nearly eight times less likely to finish daily tasks and almost six times more likely to have difficult relationships with colleagues.
You can imagine the financial stress created when an employee realises that their decision to withdraw their entire pension pot under pension freedoms has triggered a massive, and unexpected tax bill…
…or when, two years before they intended to retire, a staff member suddenly realises they can’t afford to, because they had moved their pension money into their current account, where it has been earning no interest…
…and spent some of it on much-needed home improvements, leaving them no money to live on in retirement.
It will also be difficult for their colleagues to see them suffering, and can affect their focus as well.
These are financial mistakes that are easily made, but which can play havoc with lives – and with your workplace.
So help your employees make sense of their options, once they can access their pension pots under pension freedoms.
Give them the tools they need to make good financial decisions, and encourage them to get professional advice on the best way to handle their retirement funds, so they can actually retire.
>>Get in touch with me today, to find out how we can make that happen for your staff<<