Good staff are hard to come by, which is why attracting talented new recruits and retaining current team members is of utmost importance to employers. Both of these goals can be achieved by companies that provide tailored group schemes for their employees.
What are the benefits of Employee Group Schemes?
Aside from the aforementioned, the provision of such schemes offer employees financial security during their working years, after retirement and even in the event of a tragedy. They provide peace of mind, which in turn boosts staff morale and retention rates.
These schemes are also advantageous for employers, who can claim tax relief on contributions against corporation tax liabilities.
What schemes should you be offering as an employer?
There are a number of areas that you should be examining as an employer that will give you the edge in terms of what you can offer to your team. From pensions and life assurance to income protection, there are three key areas you can focus on:
Group Pension Schemes:
Employers with teams of five or more are eligible to pursue a Group Pension Scheme. And with 64.7 percent of 20-69 year olds in employment currently availing of pension cover that surpasses the amount offered by the State, it would appear that employers will have to up their game in this particular area in order to remain competitive amongst their fellow businesses, as well as attractive to new recruits.
Although employers are not obliged to offer or contribute to a pension scheme for their employees, it is a legal requirement that they provide access to a PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account). Outside of this, there are also many benefits associated with setting up employee group schemes, which take into account the interests of both the employer and their team:
- Tax relief of up to 40 percent can be claimed by employees on their contributions
- Employers that contribute to staff pension schemes can also claim corporation tax relief on contributions
- A tax-free lump sum will be paid out to employees following retirement
- AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions) can also be availed of, enabling employees to maximise their retirement pot
- Employee loyalty and staff retention rates will naturally improve thanks to the security that comes with knowing your future is being provided for, with the help of your employer
Furthermore, with government plans in the works that will see the introduction of auto-enrolment in workplace pension schemes in the not-so-distant future (the 2022 deadline has been delayed due to the pandemic), now is the time to get ahead of the curve with your Group Pension Scheme.
Group Life Cover Schemes
Group Life Assurance provides significant peace of mind to an employee, as it ensures a level of security for their family in the event of their death during service. Should this occur, a lump sum is paid out to the dependent of the employee and the employee’s pension may also be accessible, if this has been included as part of the policy. Paid for by the employer, group life cover is practical and cost-effective for a number of reasons:
- When paid on a group basis, the cost of premium is significantly reduced
- Senior company members, such as directors and proprietors, can include themselves within a group life cover scheme, to further increase cost efficiency
- Employers can write off the cost of cover against corporation tax
- Not only do group policies reduce costs, time spent on paperwork and administration is also decreased
- The assurance provided by such policies attracts new recruits and enhances staff retention rates
Group Income Protection Schemes
With a house, car and bills to pay for, an important part of adult life is ensuring that all the necessities are covered in the event of an illness or injury that prevents you from going to work each day. For this reason, a Group Income Protection scheme offered by an employer is seen as a huge plus for both existing and future employees.
It is applicable to staff unable to work for an extended period of time, due to the effects of any injury or illness they experience. Such a policy is activated following what’s known as the “deferred period” – the amount of time that has lapsed between the onset of the illness or injury that resulted in the claim and when payments begin. This period can range from 13 to 52 weeks, depending on the terms and conditions of your policy.
The advantages to such a scheme include:
- Guaranteed financial support for employees in the event of loss of income
- Reduced cost of premium when paid for on a group basis, as with other group employee schemes
- Protection of pension contribution, if included in the terms of policy
- Potential for benefits payable to increase on an annual basis
- Corporation tax relief on premiums which can be claimed by the employer
- Allows the staff member in question the time to fully recuperate before their return to work
- The need for underwriting is often eliminated
Why Expert Advice is So Important
In order to get the most out of your group schemes in terms of selecting the correct fit for your company structure and continuously monitoring the performance of each scheme, it is advisable to enlist the help of a financial management expert. Having such a resource on hand to explain the ins and outs of these often complex structures in plain English is also likely to increase employee engagement with a group pension scheme in particular.
Symmetry Financial Management provides professional advice in a clear and straightforward manner, breaking down complex matters and enabling you to make the best choice based on the needs of your team. Get in touch today to book your free consultation.