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Not Just Rewards

I’ve just been talking with a major employer about pensions. I claim no expertise in this area, so I thought I’d write about it.

The issues we were discussing were about the impact of macro trends on pension provision – we talked both at organisational and national level. We mainly focused on how we plan effectively for the following

– people working more years in their careers (but we don’t know how much longer)
– the ‘Gig Economy’, where portfolio careers mean that individuals may have multiple employers rather than one core employer
– the increase of self employment

It raises some broader challenges for HR in terms of what the future of reward looks like.

If I’m drifting out of your company and back into it on an ad hoc basis what does a package look like that will keep me coming back? What might you be able to provide me with access to beyond the standard package – for instance:

– if I’m working for myself how much might the fact you are able to provide me with access to a top class learning environment make to my choosing you to work for?
– if I want to keep working for longer, but more flexibly, would you reward me for service and performance with a part time position mentoring new employees to supplement my pension?
– if I’m working for multiple employers then will you be the one that provides me with free legal or accountancy advice to support my business?
– will you be the employer who settles my invoice most swiftly of all?
– will you be the employer that promotes my skills to other employers actively at the end of my contract?
– will you be the one employer that will worry about my experience on my first day as much as you would do a permanent employee?

I’m not saying these are the solutions to the future challenges, but differentiating on support and experience rather than just pay is a sensible step for employers wanting to attract the best.

I don’t know much about pensions, but I know that getting a mortgage will be tricky without fixed income. I don’t know much about pensions, but I know I paid less into mine when I worked for myself. I don’t know much about pensions, but I know it’s one part of a complicated puzzle that we need to take steps towards solving.

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