Pensions present biggest pay and benefits headache for employers

Pensions remain the biggest headache for employers when it comes to pay and benefits, according to research.

More than six in 10 organisations (63%) say their biggest concern is to ensure their pension fund investment arrangements are cost-effective and operationally efficient, the  pay and benefits survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found.  

The survey, which questioned more than 600 employers, asked respondents to rate the importance of a range of pension, benefit and pay issues to their organisation.  

Across all respondents, the top four issues were pensions-related. Preparing for new pension tax limits next year; pension fund asset allocation strategy; pension risk and governance were all voted very important by more than half of respondents (56%, 54% and 52% respectively).

Peter Bowers, worldwide partner at Mercer, said pension scheme liabilities had come under intense scrutiny from finance directors over the past couple of years. 

“Pensions have moved from the HR agenda to become a finance issue, and this is reflected in the survey responses,” he said.

The need to develop efficient measures to link employee pay to performance was also identified as a crucial issue by 51% of organisations, while the desire to communicate the value of total rewards to employees was ranked very important by half of organisations (50%).

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