Mitchells & Butlers pilots bonus sacrifice

PUB CHAIN Mitchells & Butlers piloted a bonus sacrifice scheme for its 500 head office staff last month which it hopes to roll out to the rest of its 45,000 UK employees later this year.

Through the scheme, employees could sacrifice up to 100% of the gross value of any bonus they received into their company pension scheme as an additional voluntary contribution (AVC). The firm then added half of its savings on National Insurance (NI) contributions into each employee’s fund. This equated to an additional 5.9% for members of its defined benefit pension scheme and 6.4% for staff in its defined contribution plan.

Sheila Mellish, compensation and benefits director, said: “We offer our employees a number of benefits aimed at families, but this one appeals to a different segment of the population, perhaps those [who are] thinking about retirement.”

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Although it has yet to assess take up figures, Mellish reported a strong interest in the scheme.

“We have had a higher level of interest than expected, but we clearly need to review the scheme. I hope we will run it again next year as the benefit is potentially valuable to our employees,” she explained.

All head office employees employed by the company before 1 July 2006 were eligible to take part in the bonus sacrifice.