Most employers are genuinely concerned about their staff members' retirement nest egg. No less than 75% are convinced that a supplementary pension is critical to having more financial freedom in retirement. The survey also shows that over 70% of companies with a pension plan for white-collar workers, managerial staff and senior executives set aside contributions above 3% of the salary. According to nearly six out of 10 employers, a decent retirement income should be at least 70% of the last salary. Relying on state pension benefits only is clearly not a good plan. In addition, the vast majority of employers prefer to let their staff choose whether to collect their benefits as a single lump sum or an annuity.
It also seems that attracting new talent and rewarding loyal employees is a key motivator for employers in Belgium that have set up a pension plan in the last 10 years. They see it as a competitive advantage in their remuneration policy, an added sweetener when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff.
And, of course, the tax benefits are also a powerful motivator for employers to set up a supplementary pension plan. It's clearly a win-win situation, as both employers and their staff members come out ahead. A pension plan is much better financial deal than a straight salary increase.
The Assuralia survey clearly shows that employers currently have little confidence in the government's pension policy, with 78% indicating that a stable legislative framework is a prerequisite for them. They also want to see more stability from a tax perspective.
In addition, there is a need for more public awareness and education. One out of six employers that don't offer a pension plan have never even considered the option. Others simply find it too complex, or manage small companies that have decision-making centres outside Belgium.
With AG, employees and employers can find all the information they need, consolidated in a single place on the digital My Global Benefits platform. The information is always updated straight away to reflect any changes in taxation, pension legislation, etc. This way, they can be sure they have latest information and a clear overview of the benefits, the options, and the tax and legal implications.
But there are other stumbling blocks, such as the single status for blue-collar and white-collar workers. This has caused 55% of employers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude as they know that their sector has to take the lead on harmonisation. The required guaranteed minimum return on contributions is also a barrier for 50% of employers.
Have you made the wise decision to set up a pension plan for your staff members this year? Or does your company already have a modest pension plan and you're thinking of expanding it, with contributions above 3% of your staff members' salary?
Interested in finding out more about the Assuralia survey? You'll find all the key figures here (French and Dutch).