How to make your workplace benefits package work for all employees

A benefits package for all employees

A pension scheme is usually the foundation stone of a workplace benefits package. It’s often one of the things people consider when they’re looking at potential employers.

But did you know you can also add other savings and investment plans to your employee benefits package? With a stocks and shares ISA, a cash ISA and a general investment account available, you can reward your staff in many ways.

We’ve got solutions for different types of employees, from high earners to entry level workers.

Make the most of pension contributions

For all your employees, their benefits package is about what suits them best. For many of them, making contributions into their pensions will be important.

All your employees can maximise their tax benefits through their pension. Every taxpayer gets tax relief from the government on pension contributions. For most of your workforce, that means getting basic rate tax paid into their pension plan instead of it going into the coffers of the Treasury.

Basic rate tax is currently 20%, so for every £100 going into a pension plan, an employee pays only £80, with the government chipping in the remaining £20. For higher and additional rate tax payers, the amount of tax relief increases in line with their tax bracket. 

If you use salary exchange to make pension payments, you’ll also save on employer National Insurance contributions. You can either keep that money or pay it into your employees’ pension pots.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that every taxpayer in the UK has an annual allowance for pension contributions. This is the maximum amount that can go into a pension without paying tax on it. For the annual allowance for the current tax year, please visit gov.uk.

On top of that, we all have a lifetime allowance for pensions, which is the maximum amount anyone can ever pay into a pension without paying tax on it. For the lifetime allowance for the current tax year, please visit gov.uk.

A stocks and shares ISA works well for some

This is a tax-efficient investment with potential for growth. Every person aged 18 and over in the UK can take out one ISA a year. The investment limit is currently £20,000, but the growth and income from a stocks and shares ISA is free of UK tax.

You can set up payments from your payroll into an employee’s ISA. This means you can continue to reward your employee for their service in a tax-efficient way.

For higher earners who have maxed out their pension contributions, you can make employer payments into a stocks and shares ISA. It gives you the chance to continue rewarding your employees in a tax-efficient way.

You may also find that younger members of your workforce would prefer payments into a stocks and shares ISA to pension contributions at first.

For many younger people, the idea of locking money away into a pension for decades can be scary. They may prefer their money where they can access it and making employer payments into a stocks and shares ISA is still tax efficient.

In fact, it could be a smart move for employees expecting to move up to a higher tax bracket soon. Instead of pension contributions, they can build up money in an ISA and move it lock, stock and barrel into their pension when they begin to pay higher rate tax. By doing that, they will benefit from the higher rate of tax relief. 

Plus, if you add a stocks and shares ISA to your employee benefits package, your employees will benefit from a group charge. This is likely to be lower than individual ISA charges.

A cash ISA can double as an emergency fund

It’s a good idea for everyone to build up a pot of money for emergencies, particularly lower-paid workers. These are the people who may not usually have spare cash to deal with the occasional curve ball life throws at us all.

You can add a cash ISA to your employee benefits package, which is an easy way for employees to build up their emergency fund.

You can make payments into it through your payroll just as you can for any other financial product. The money isn’t taxed, and your employees can access it whenever they need to.

Help your employees feel more financially secure

It’s relatively easy to help your employees get to a better place financially. Making payments into financial products from payroll means your employees won’t miss the money because it never hits their bank accounts. It makes it easier to save and invest in whichever way they choose.

And as well as being a practical help, giving your employees more financial security also helps improve their wellbeing.

And a happy, healthy workforce is good for you, your employees and your business.

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