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Employee Wellbeing Q1 2022

How employers can give pension help without advising

iStock / Getty Images Plus / rzarek

Nigel Peaple

Director Policy & Advocacy, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA)

The need for advice and guidance in pensions has never been greater, with more people having to take on the decisions about how they invest and access their pensions.


Despite the cost of living crisis hitting savers, there remains a great appetite from UK non-retirees to pay into workplace pensions. In a recent PLSA survey, just over three quarters (78%) of those not retired told us they think it is a good idea to pay into a workplace pension.

That said, there is a clear supply gap in the guidance and advice available to savers versus the pent-up demand for help at all stages of the saver journey.

There are areas where employers and schemes would like to help savers without needing to give guidance or advice but are concerned about rules around arranging and financial promotions.

One of the greatest myths in this area is that giving an employee any help could be seen as regulated financial advice.

Finding the line

One of the greatest myths in this area is that giving an employee any help could be seen as regulated financial advice.

This is not true. In simplified terms, and in most circumstances, the key to staying the right side of the regulations is avoiding giving a personal recommendation.

By presenting both the pros and cons of particular options and leaving it up to the saver or staff member to work out the best course of action, pension schemes and employers would likely have helped them more than turning them away at the door.

A guide for employers

While it may sound simple, it can still be a bit of a minefield for employers. That’s why the PLSA created its Employers Guide to talking about workplace pensions to help them with these conversations.

This guide provides employers with the background on the current legal and regulatory regime, addresses some commonly held myths and provides background on what employers can and cannot say with the intention of helping employers navigate the advice / guidance boundary.

Employees can also speak with their employer about whether they provide any financial or wellbeing guidance programmes, information is also often available on a company’s intranet site if they have one.

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