When we look at what we are getting paid to do our jobs, it’s easy to focus on our salary and not think about the total cost of other benefits and perks we get through the workplace. The obvious ones are employer contributions to pensions, healthcare packages, gym membership and childcare vouchers. However, other perks and incentives that may not immediately register with employees unless they are pointed out to them include free food such as breakfast or fruit, free flu vaccinations and discount programmes that are negotiated with local retailers or restaurants.
Employers who want their employees to know exactly how much they are valued might use total reward statements to show them the overall value of their benefits packages. Total reward statements need to be communicated to employees, which can be achieved online or through paper statements. Online systems tend to cost more initially but make up for this by being easier to access and update, especially in real time.
As our data shows, some group personal pension providers – Aviva, Hargreaves Lansdown and Standard Life – produce online total reward statements for their propositions. All six of these propositions include every benefit within the reward statement, so employees have the fullest picture of their remuneration and benefits packages. These statements are available for employees to view at any time.
Some providers offer more detail than others about the benefits their online total reward statements include. Statements through Aviva’s Designer and My Money products include all employee benefits, while Hargreaves Lansdown’s statements enable clients to view their pension, other investments, flexible benefits and insurance products in one place, so there is no need for multiple passwords. This is a nice touch as having different passwords which need to be regularly changed for security reasons can be a nightmare to remember.
Standard Life’s total reward statements include pension and bonuses, plus benefits the employee has chosen and paid for such childcare vouchers and gym memberships. Other perks provided by the employer that don’t have a monetary value are also in there, such as discounts and special offers.
Most propositions that deliver total reward statements online are not available in a paper format. Standard Life’s two offerings are the exception, providing online and paper statements. However, Standard Life does not update its online total reward statements in real time, while Aviva and Hargreaves Lansdown both do – perhaps due to the fact that online is their sole focus. As the only provider to offer paper statements as well as online, Standard Life makes things easy for employees in ensuring its paper statements are printable as a PDF.
Providing up-to-date investment information such as valuations in total reward statements is also important, as poor or out of date information does not give a good impression to the employees who rely on it. All six propositions offering online total reward statements ensure information is current and most have a direct link to the product provider if employees have a query. Hargreaves Lansdown does not, but it enables pension clients who want to review their pension to do so in real time.
As total rewards statements are all about data, it is important that the investment valuation information is accurate and easy for providers to supply. The three providers which offer online total rewards statements supply investment valuation data in different ways. The Aviva Designer product uses a bulk data download, which is an easy way of transferring large volumes of information. Hargreaves Lansdown obtains real-time investment valuations online, through the Hargreaves Lansdown app or over the phone, while Standard Life uses its member dashboard.
One of the features of making information available online is that whoever puts it there can choose who can see it. As our table shows, it is common for total reward statements to be available to employers and each individual employee. Hargreaves Lansdown is an exception in making the statements available to employees only.
There is not much in life that is free, so there is a charge for implementing a total reward statement and an ongoing charge for the statements after implementation. As our table shows, Aviva and Hargreaves Lansdown charge for each employee statement, while Standard Life has opted for a flat rate.
There is nothing to distinguish Aviva, Hargreaves Lansdown and Standard Life when it comes to offering a discounted rate based on volume. Similarly, all three understand that the employer is ultimately in charge, as employers can deny employees access to information in their total reward statements.
It is our view that total reward statements ae somewhat overlooked and can add a lot of value. It would be nice to see more providers offering these as part of their proposition.