DWF is a global provider of integrated legal and business services. It employs approximately 4,000 members of staff and has more than 30 offices across the globe.
The firm introduced a salary sacrifice pension scheme in 2013 in line with the UK’s auto-enrolment legislation, which enables staff and the business to pay less National Insurance contributions, and the employee is taxed on a lower amount of salary.
Stephen Jones, head of reward at DWF, explains that from a business perspective, the employer was able to invest the savings made through the salary sacrifice model into other benefits for staff.
“At the time, this was used to increase flexible offerings to employees such as discount sites, gym flex and a benefits platform for colleagues to view their total reward offering,” he says.
DWF ensured that when the scheme was first implemented, employees understood the implications of pension salary sacrifice and the positive benefits surrounding it.
Employee contribution levels to the scheme are 3-5% and employers’ levels are 5-7%. The firm raised its contributions from 3% to 5% in April 2019 to ensure that staff were no worse off when a minimum of an 8% total pension contribution became mandatory.
“In addition, the business has been able to use these savings to improve its benefit offering to its employees and has now implemented a state-of-the-art benefits platform, giving real time total reward statements and a wide choice of additional benefits,” he says. “We understand that employees may want to put additional contributions into their pension funds and we allow this through contributions.”
This year, DWF plans to explore, and potentially implement, the ability for employees to pay bonus and vested share values into their pension scheme, in order to make the most of unused tax-free allowances.