Pension schemes most commonly-offered benefit

A pension plan is the most commonly-provided benefit offered by employers to staff, followed by investment in training and development, which remains a priority for organisations despite the economic downturn.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) 2009 Annual Reward Management Survey, 95% of employers offered a pension plan to all their employees last year, making it the most common perk, followed by training and development (offered by 71% of employers), 25 days’ or more paid leave (67%), free tea and coffee (62%) and Christmas parties (60%).

Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the CIPD, said: “Training and development tends to hold up well [in economic difficulty]. It may be that it is now being recognised as part of total reward and something that can attract or retain staff.”

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Training and development was particularly prominent in the voluntary sector, with 83% offering the perk. Onsite car parking (84%) and 25 or more days’ holiday (77%) topped the list in the manufacturing and production sector, while Christmas parties (77%), and free tea and coffee (75%) were most common in private sector services firms.

The report, which surveyed 503 organisations employing about one million staff, revealed that where perks are offered only through a flex scheme, dental insurance (9%) was the most common, followed by childcare vouchers (6%) and critical illness cover (5%).