Is there a productivity dividend from auto-enrolment?

Pension PlayPen will give a leg up to anyone who’s trying – even some clapped out old bank that lost the trust of its customers long ago.

So here’s some research produced by Barclays.

Barclays cropped

I have written recently about the causal link between financial well-being and productivity.

Put at its simplest, if staff aren’t worrying about their finances- they do their jobs better”. In my experience, the banks have been the cause of much financial misery in this country over the last few years and have demonstrated again and again they will put their interests above those of their customers, especially where the customer is weak. Witness PPI, witness the mis-selling of derivatives to SMEs taking out loans, witness LIBOR fixing.

But if Barclays are promoting financial well-being in the workplace, good for them!

Because all the evidence suggests that employees who have a clear idea about how their financial future is being managed, are more productive and more likely to stay that way. Witness low opt-out rates on auto-enrolment, witness the success introducing credit unions saving plans by large employers, witness the success of financial education programs by large employers like Unilever, Centrica and Lloyds Banking Group.

This is the pay-back for operating employee benefits. It may be expressed negatively- “don’t invest in your people and they won’t invest in you”, but better expressed by slogans “like happy staff are better staff”.

I am a small business owner and I’m a Director of a medium sized business with 200 staff. I have worked for organisations with tens of thousands of staff. One thing that ties all experiences together is that where my employer invested in my financial well-being, I gave them back more.

There exists today an opportunity for Britain’s SMEs and Micros to do something for their staff. They can set up good workplace pensions and evidence that they not only want to comply with auto-enrolment legislation but go further and choose a good pension.

Any business justification for the extra investment in time and research occasioned by getting auto-enrolment right, has to start with an explanation of the metrics in the graphics above.

On a day that we hear of yet another fine for this bank,  it’s not easy for me to agree with Barclays – but in this – I do!

No one gets left behind – not even Barclays!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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