Small and medium-sized employers who underestimate the value placed on pension benefits by employees are hindering their ability to attract and retain staff and according to hibob – the cloud-based HR and benefits platform, employers are getting it wrong.

The research found that:

  • 67% of employees see Pension as a critical part of their package particularly when choosing a job (67%), whereas employers believe that their employees neither care (60%) or understand (58%) auto-enrolment.

It’s a striking difference between the employee benefits people get and what they actually want.

You might think health or ‘fancy’ bells and whistles benefits are in vogue, but when given a hypothetical amount of money to spend on benefits, people are prepared to allocate 25% to their pension. That’s 3 times as much as private medical, the next most in-demand benefit.

Andy Bellass, Co-Founder, hibob states

“A benefit isn’t a benefit until it’s realised” was a phrase we coined in one of our founding meetings. After talking to hundreds of companies, we have found ourselves repeating it on a daily basis. Given how important benefits are and the vital role they can (and should) play in attracting, rewarding, motivating and retaining precious talent, we decided to dig deeper than anyone has before. We have undertaken a study of more than 4,000 employees and 500 benefits decisionmakers to take a snapshot or ‘State of the Benefits Nation’, which we will release in chapters over the coming months. Our research looks at everything from how much people spend, to motivations around different products and the truth about millennials.

54% of UK workers say a pension is the most important workplace benefit – the one they must have over all others. It’s also the only benefit employees recognise they ‘need’ (54%) more than they ‘want’ (37%). Just over a quarter say that they neither ‘need’ nor ‘want’ them (26%).”

Dan Benatan, Head of Benefits, hibob adds;

“Until now, there’s been a lot of research into what companies are buying, but limited intel into what workers actually want. Whilst benefits decision makers believe pensions are better for retaining existing employees, the research shows that actually, pensions are high on the list of priorities for candidates going through the recruitment process. This survey sheds some much-needed light on attitudes towards the pension, to help employers plan for the future.”

When, according to HR Performance Solutions’ 2017 Salary Report, the average pay increase this year is expected to be 3 percent, now is the best time to look at how pensions fit into your benefits strategy for the long term.