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27 March 2023

If you’re not sure, you need to act before 31 July 2023!

The New State Pension will be increasing in April from £185.15 per week to £203.85 (taking it to £10,600 per year) and for lots of us this will be a large proportion of our overall retirement income.
However, did you know that if your National Insurance (NI) records have gaps in them, you may not get this full amount?
At the moment, if you have gaps in your NI records, you can make voluntary contributions to cover gaps back to April 2006. This window was due to end on 5 April 2023, however the deadline has been extended to 31 July 2023. After this date, you will only be able to go back a maximum of 6 years (e.g. from the coming tax year 2023/24, you will only be able to make up gaps as far back as 2017/18 tax year).

So what should you do if you are unsure?

The first thing to do is get a State Pension forecast which will tell you how much State Pension you may get.
You can then apply for a National Insurance statement from HMRC to check if your record has gaps.
If you find you do have gaps in your NI records you may still get the full new State Pension, however, if these gaps prevent this you have some options which I have mentioned in the further information below.
You can also find out more about how filling gaps can affect your State Pension by contacting the Future Pension Centre.

If you would like to know a few basics about who is entitled to the new State Pension and how the pension is calculated I have put some details below.
• The new State Pension is for:
o men born after 6 April 1951 and
o women born after 6 April 1953
• It is based on your NI records when you reach State Pension Age
• You need at least 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension
• You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the full amount if you do not have a NI record before 6 April 2016
• You may get less than the new full State Pension if you were contracted out before 6 April 2016
• You may get more than the new full State Pension if you would have had over a certain amount of additional State Pension under the old rules

Qualifying Years
When you are working you will get qualifying years if:
• You’re paying NI contributions which can be either of:
o Employed: earning over £242 per week from one employer
o Self-employed and paying NI contributions (profits of over £11,908)
• You are employed but not earning enough to pay NI but you earn between £123 and £242 a week from one employer
If you are not employed, you may still get NI credits if you:
• Claim child benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
• Get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
• Get Carer’s Allowance
• You are ill, disabled or on sick pay

Finally, if you’re not working or getting NI credits you may be able to pay voluntary NI contributions to increase your State Pension amount.

Topping up one qualifying year of £824.20 translates to £275.08 extra per year in state pension. The cost will be increasing from 1st August to £907.40 but you will be getting an extra £302.86 a year in pension due to the increase in April 2023.

For any further assistance with this, please contact your Corinthian Consultant who will be happy to help.

22 August 2022

An employee benefits package can be hugely important to employees but creating one is not as simple as you might think. If your benefits package is to be effective and deliver what your employees really want, it will have to reflect the values and culture of your business.

Employee benefits have been in the spotlight since the pandemic started because companies have had to understand what employees want, and in recent years, this has evolved rapidly.

Taking a step back when it comes to updating what you offer doesn’t have to be a challenge. This is because your package should be aligned with the diversity, equality and inclusivity values underpinning your business while ensuring it enhances their working life.

Your Company Culture and Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity

It is important for your business to look at what you offer employees on a wide scale; this is much more than simply looking at their salaries. You’ll also need to consider what employees get by working for your business and whether you can meet their needs individually. Do they feel a part of your business and feel valued?

When employee benefits meet the wide-ranging needs of your employees, only then are they considered successful. If you are unaware of those needs, you might opt for a benefits package that completely misses the mark and could work against you. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to have a solid diversity, equality and inclusivity policy in place to make sure you recognise the needs of employees.

Understanding Their Needs

One thing that all employees look at is the financial incentive of working for you. However, they are not just looking at the salary because they want much more. Ideally, they are looking for packages that support their lives, ranging from having duvet days to having flowers delivered on their work anniversary. As many of us focus on our health and nourishment, it’s important to ensure that we’re still getting enough of what we need at work. Offering soft benefits like free fruit and healthy snacks in the office is a win for everyone involved: your employees will be happier and healthier, and you’ll have happier, healthier employees who are more productive. Senior staff might prefer something that supports them financially, while younger employees might prefer something that benefits their young family or extracurricular activities. There are many different benefits that you can implement, such as working from home, which demonstrates that you trust employees but also a menopause policy that provides support to those that need it.

Cash plans are a good example of a benefit that can appeal to a wide range of your employees. Cash plans are designed to pay out for everyday health care costs such as dental treatment, eye tests, glasses/contact lenses, physiotherapy, chiropody and even preventive measures such as health screening. Cash plans are quick and easy to set up; they are a cost-effective way to reward and support your workforce and are a fraction of the cost of private medical insurance.

Get the Right Support

You might not have the scope to create a diverse, equal and inclusive policy in-house, but support is available for you to take advantage of. This is something that large organisations might consider as they are more likely to have several departments and staff that have different needs.

Furthermore, once you have a benefits package in place, there is no benefit from assuming that the work is done. It can help to revisit it every so often to see what is working and what needs changing as it might need to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of your workforce.

You don’t have to tackle your Employee Benefits solution alone. Our team are on hand to answer your questions and work out what is best for you and your team, for now, and for the future.

For further information call 0208 189 6100 or email [email protected]

27 July 2022

Employees are the backbone of every business and valuing their input, loyalty and productivity is key to retaining the very best talent. The aim is to create an employee experience that delivers results in terms of engagement. Celebrating milestones doesn’t have to be something that requires the arranging of a party but it does require management and business leaders to take time out of their day to recognise these milestones with staff.

How Can You Celebrate Milestones?

There are many different ways in which you can celebrate milestones and these can include:

  • Announcing milestones during meetings
  • Discussing it in a newsletter sent to the entire business
  • Acknowledging public recognition
  • Leaving them a personal note
  • Giving gifts
  • Rewarding them with lunch
  • A workplace party
  • Highlighting the employee of the month

The employee experience is about everything they experience in the workplace and this includes being recognised. Almost 75% of teams feel as though they are valued when they receive praise through recognition and the celebration of milestones.

What Milestones Can Be Celebrated?

Their First Day – When you celebrate their first day, you are acknowledging their arrival and you make them feel welcome from the beginning.

Their First Three Months – If they have had a successful first three months then this is a milestone worth celebrating

Delivery of Projects – When a project is completed, celebrating its delivery is a great way of saying thank you.

Promotion – When a member of staff is promoted, sharing the news with other employees is a great way of showing where hard work can take you.

Anniversaries – From one year to five years and even twenty-five years, these are significant milestones that should be celebrated and recognised.

Graduating – Some employees continue to learn while working and celebrating these achievements is a way of recognising and thanking them for their efforts.

Becoming Certified – Certain jobs require staff to become certified. This often involves late nights, coursework and exams. Congratulating staff is a great way of showing your gratitude.

Reaching Retirement Age – Reaching the end of your working life is a big achievement. Celebrating this achievement shows that you appreciate their dedication and efforts through the years.

Birthdays – Everyone has that one day a year where they feel special and that’s their birthday. Bring them in a cake, let them choose the office playlist for the day or send out an celebratory email. Whatever you choose, acknowledging their birthday makes them feel a part of the company.

Big Events – From marriage to childbirth, these are all big events and celebrating these can help to create a community feel.

Business Anniversary – Businesses can also reach anniversaries such as how long it has been trading. Including employees in these celebrations will make them feel like a part of the company.

Customer Appreciation – If a customer gives a glowing review of an employee then this is something worth celebrating as it helps to create a feeling of positivity that runs through the business.

When discussing happy employees with management and looking at ways in which you can enhance morale and the employee experience, celebrating milestones is an opportunity to create a feeling of value and loyalty. Celebrating milestones can be simple but what they bring to your business and your employees cannot be overlooked.

[email protected]

13 July 2022

In recent times, the workplace has been through a change that has not been seen for decades. This might be down to the Covid-19 pandemic and other reasons but organisation policy is changing slowly and employers are now taking a new approach. Following a period of working from home and furlough, HR teams are now looking over their existing policies to determine how they can fit around a changing world.

So, what policies could you introduce for your teams as a way of enhancing retention, productivity and engagement?

Health and mental wellbeing

Employee wellbeing goes far beyond just minimising health issues and health-related absences. The World Health Organisation consider wellbeing at work “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing” – so it encompasses all areas of working life. Promoting wellbeing at work can help create a positive working environment by minimising stress levels, improving employee satisfaction and engagement, and ultimately helping your employees thrive at work. We believe a happy and healthy workforce is essential in building a successful business. Putting the steps in to support this can be hard work but ultimately rewarding.

Financial Wellbeing

The cost of living crisis has taken over the UK in recent months and many people are finding that their finances are becoming tighter. This can have a negative effect on their wellbeing and can cause both mental and physical problems but still, there are not many policies in place to deal with this. As a result, there has been a call for large businesses to implement financial wellbeing policies to support staff which include:

  • Access to advice and resources
  • Financial planning advice such as pension advice or planning for maternity leave
  • Improved employee benefit schemes that include financial benefits
  • Flexible working to assist with those who need to manage childcare or work from home to save on travel costs
  • A commitment to ensure that employees receive the Real Living Wage

Burnout Policies

Wellbeing has been a priority over the previous two years in particular, as people have had to deal with a wide range of challenges during the pandemic. Mental health is at the forefront of change in the workplace and many people have suffered recently, so it is important that employers do as much as possible.

What this has meant is that employers have implemented measures that are designed to support staff while also ensuring they are helped to deal with the pressures that came with Covid-19. Some businesses have started giving staff more time off as a way of recognising their efforts while some have opted to implement schemes that are aimed at encouraging them to take more time for themselves. Mental health costs employers as much as £45 billion on an annual basis but for every £1 they invest in mental health interventions, they can make back £5 as a result of turnover and a reduction of absenteeism. This is a clear incentive for businesses to implement policies that support the wellbeing of employees.

Through the review of existing policies and by making changes, it is easy to create a workplace that is understanding, accepting and supportive, all of which is something to consider when discussing happy employees.

Email : [email protected] or call: 0208 189 6100

29 June 2022

Maintaining high levels of employee satisfaction is key to reducing staff turnover and attracting top talent to your business, and one way to do that is to ensure that your workforce is receiving the benefit, perks, and pensions that they deserve.

We take a closer look at how to simplify the process of providing the best possible package for your team while also reaping maximum benefits for your company.

The Benefits of a Good Workplace Pension

These days, all workplaces must enroll their employees in a pension scheme by law, however, it’s important to make sure that you’re choosing the best workplace pension for your team that gives them the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their retirement will be comfortable and happy, while also helping them to feel valued and appreciated by your organisation.

Different businesses have different pension scheme needs, so it’s important to select the one that’s most appropriate for your requirements. That’s where we can help. We give ongoing support and advice to enable you to select the optimal pension scheme for your workforce that runs smoothly and minimises your management time while also helping you make considerable savings.

Furthermore, we can also do the hard work of communicating the benefits of the scheme to your employees so that they can understand the advantages for themselves and appreciate the investment that you’re making.

Offering Employee Perks

Attracting talent and retaining existing team members these days often requires business leaders to offer something a little more than just a basic salary package. Company perks are a great way to make your workforce feel appreciated and happy, and not only that, but they can help your business to save money too in the long run.

Happy staff are productive workers, and they’re more likely to remain loyal to your brand. That means a lower staff turnover and less need to fund costly recruitment and training drives. There are many different employee perks that you can offer your team, from private medical insurance to free gym membership. The key to success is choosing the right perks to suit your company’s requirements.

This is something that we can also help you with. We take the time to really get to know your business and its needs. Once we know what you need to achieve, we can put forward our proposal for company perks that meet your budget and key objectives.

We know that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to keeping your workforce happy, and that’s why we take a creative and individualistic approach to find just the right perks package for your organisation so you can achieve maximum benefits for you and your workforce.

The Importance of a Happy Workforce

It has been proven time and again that happy workers are productive workers, and a productive workforce is always going to be good news for your business. We’re here to help you keep your team satisfied by offering them the pension and perks packages that keep them loyal today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Discover your Happy Employee Score via our free tool

If you want to chat about this further email: [email protected], or call 0202 189 6100

15 June 2022

Although the people of the UK are constantly being warned that they are facing a pensions crunch in the future, in fact, hundreds of thousands of them are owed money in “lost” personal and company pensions.

The world of work has changed significantly over the past few decades. These days, the “job for life” concept has long gone. Now, people switch employers on a regular basis, and this has led to most people having multiple small pensions that are all too easy to lose track of.

Many pension providers are simply sitting on those assets, often long after those who are entitled to claim them reach the age of 75 or older. The problem is compounded by the fact that people change address relatively frequently, so it becomes difficult for those providers to make contact.

Yet, since only 40% of people aged 55 or older expect to be comfortably off during their retirement, it’s never been more important to locate that lost pension money. Fortunately, there are ways to do this by spring cleaning your finances to find your hidden treasure.

How can I find my missing pensions?

If you believe you have money in missing pensions out there, there are a few ways that you can track them down. If you’re rapidly approaching retirement, locating this hidden treasure could give you a valuable financial boost once you quit work, and if you’re still saving up, you may be able to find a higher-performing scheme that could put your existing funds to better use.

Speak to our team at Corinthian Benefits. Our dedicated team can do the hard work for you – in finding old pensions and advising you on your options for what to do next. Our pension management service my corinthian, enables you to keep all your pensions together in one place.

Not Too sure if you have missing pensions?    

We can still help! Thanks to the Pensions Tracing Service, we can simply supply a few details such as the name of your scheme provider or employer and preferably an address. The service will search its database of personal and occupational pension schemes to locate the contact information for the scheme’s administrator so we can then get in touch with them to find out more about how much money you have stored away.

If you want help, drop us a line at [email protected], or call 0208 189 6100

1 June 2022

Every month one of our team at Corinthian Benefits answers a question from an employer, or employee, seeking clarity on pensions and benefits. If you have something to ask our team, submit your question to [email protected]

As an employer, I am seeing the costs of everything go through the roof. For my business to survive, I do need to keep and attract great talent. Can employee benefits help and can I afford them?

So – are employee benefits worth the investment?

When you are a business owner, one thing that you won’t want to have to do is spend too much money on something that you may not think are a worthwhile investment. You may not always need many things when it comes to running a successful business, but there are also equally some things that are 100% must-haves.

A great team working for you is just one example of this. For your business to survive, especially in a competitive world, you need the right people working for you, which means that you need to find a way to attract the best talent to your business.

There are several ways that you can do this. However, one that you should never underestimate is employee benefits.

So, why are employee benefits worth the investment, and can you really afford them?

The perks of having employee benefits

The first thing that we need to look at, is what exactly are the advantages of having employee benefits on others within your business? Of course, the main reason has to be that it rewards those staff members who work so hard for your company.

For you as the employer, it helps you to appeal to the best talent out there on the job market. When you show that you care about the people who work for you, then those looking for the best place to work will want to work with you.

Not only this, but when they start to work for you and know that these great employee benefits will continue, they are much more likely to want to stay with you, meaning that you retain your staff.

Can I afford it?

The next question is whether or not you can afford to pay out for employee benefits. The answer to this is yes. However, you may want to be able to work this out for yourself.

Look at it this way. The cost of recruitment is enormous, not only the obvious costs but also those you may not always think about. This applies to what you need to pay out to bring in the potential candidates and what you may lose in the staff member ready to move on to something new.

They are likely to take time off to head to interviews for new jobs, but they also may feel unmotivated and dis-engaged whilst they work and, therefore, be less productive.

If you are not sure whether or not this is a cost you can pay out, then why not come and see us here at Corinthian? We have put together our very own staff turnover calculator which is designed to weigh up the cost of employee benefits against the real impact of having them in place.

We hope that it shows you that not only are employee benefits something that you should do but also that they will be much more cost-effective than you may realise.

If you want help, please don’t hesitate to email: [email protected], or call: 0208 189 6100

7 September 2021

You’ll be aware of the announcement to increase National Insurance contributions from April next year.

You are possibly also aware that all our corporate clients use salary exchange, however, there are still thousands of companies out there that don’t.

Simply put, salary exchange could help employers offset the additional cost they will face from April 2022 and help reduce, or negate completely, the increase in tax their employees will face.

If you, or any business owners you know, are not using it, we would be more than happy to help.  See the attached article for more info.

NIC 1.25% Increase

19 August 2021

The summer months seem to be passing by quickly, along with the promised August heatwave!

I have pleasure in attaching our August Insights Newsletter and delighted to share some interesting articles provided by our friends at Supportis, Stockdales and Scottish Widows.

If you have an article, or short blog that you would like to feature in our Newsletter, please do let us know.

In the meantime, we hope you have an enjoyable remainder of the summer.

Corinthian Insights Newsletter – August 2021

8 July 2021

Car schemes have always been popular as options for salary sacrifice schemes; allowing people to choose vehicles that they may not ordinarily have been able to afford in return for a payment from their pre-tax salary.

The latest car schemes also allow participants to fulfil a moral and environmental obligation as, from the 6th April 2020, the UK Government introduced huge tax savings (30% – 60%) for people to lease an electric vehicle through company salary sacrifice schemes. This has made owning an electric vehicle even more of an attractive proposition.

Whilst the vehicles may be more environmentally responsible, the structure of the scheme is still fundamentally the same as traditional salary sacrifice schemes. In the first instance the company rents an electric car from a supplier and the employee can then rent the car in exchange for their monthly payment from their gross salary (income before tax or net salary + employees’ national insurance + income tax).

Regular maintenance of the car is usually dealt with by a third party.

Operating an electric car scheme does not just benefit your employees; as an employer you will benefit from:

  • An attractive benefit proposition for new and existing employees
  • Savings on Class 1A National Insurance contributions (NIC)
  • Achieving corporate social responsibility goals
  • A way to support employee’s commitment to ‘green’ lifestyles

Whilst employees can enjoy savings on their tax and National Insurance, fixed tax-free payments, no initial up-front costs and savings on fuel and running costs.

Here are some tips, as listed in a recent article from the website Employee Benefits, on how you can implement a company car scheme in your business:

  1. Find out what staff want – are your staff interested in electric cars and using the salary sacrifice scheme.
  2. Involve people from all areas of your business in the decision – HR, procurement, and finance.
  3. Review the local Electric Vehicle infrastructure – are there charging points easily accessible for your employees – on their journey to and from work and at your workplace

We would love to talk to you via phone, video call or face to face, depending on your preference, to answer your questions. Please contact us at [email protected] Tel: 0208 189 6100