Apr 21, 2015
Workshops to help staff negotiate pensions minefield

Nippon Gohsei (UK) is to prepare its staff for changes to UK pension arrangements, which came into force this April.

The new ‘Pension Freedom’ changes allow the over-55s to access their pension pots, which Nippon Gohsei wants to highlight during May in two workshops provided by Jelf Life.

Helen Starkey, Nippon Gohsei’s HR and communications manager, said: “Pension Freedom is a super idea as it gives control back to the individual. This makes perfect sense, but with it comes risk, so we need to help our employees make decisions, which are right for them.

“We are aiming to provide a proper overview of what they need to be thinking about. The changes are potentially liberating, so hopefully the workshops will inspire them with the confidence and knowledge to make financially strategic decisions.”

Nippon Gohsei employs 120 in east Hull, the majority at its Soarnol production facility at Saltend Chemicals Park, and has been working with Jelf Life since 2008.

Sue Knight, retirement services manager on the Jelf Life After Work team, said: “The workshops and clinics will enable Nippon Gohsei employees to see how the new flexibilities will affect their options, the potential benefits and associated risks that come with their ability to access their pension pot from age 55.

“There are many quite personal factors to be taken into consideration, and depending on what an employee chooses to do they may end up paying more tax, and become 40 per cent tax payers for the first time in their life.

“Our sessions can be used to help assess what pension savings are likely to provide in the context of anticipated income needs in retirement. They can also be used to review current contribution levels, investment options and planned retirement age. It will help increase understanding of the alternative choices available, both now, and in the future when benefits will be taken.”

The retirement workshops focus on better financial planning in general and will be followed by a pension clinic where employees will have an opportunity to spend 20 to 30 minutes in pre-booked one-to-one sessions with a finance professional.

The workshops have been designed to follow on from the annual pension financial awareness presentations and clinics Jelf Life already runs with Nippon Gohsei.