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The organisation

Blackpool Council are an organisation with a total of 3115 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) members. They initially ran their own in-house salary sacrifice Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution (Shared Cost AVC) scheme for their employees, set up with the help of PSTAX. 


In December 2020, Blackpool Council partnered with AVC Wise and our fully managed Shared Cost AVC solution as they recognised the opportunity to grow their scheme and improve their employees’ financial wellbeing even further. By working with AVC Wise to increase participation in the scheme, Blackpool Council were able to help more of their LGPS members make their money work harder for them, particularly valuable at a time when it means the most. In addition, with the growth in scheme take up comes the growth in employer National Insurance Contribution (NIC) savings, bringing further substantial savings for the Council. 



Objectives

  • Grow participation in their Shared Cost AVC scheme. 

  • Support more employees’ financial wellbeing, by spreading the word further of this cost-efficient way to save for retirement. 

  • Educate existing members on how they can benefit further from the scheme. Scheme launched December 2020 LGPS Members 3115 



The implementation 

At the beginning of our partnership and with the help of AVC Wise’s fully managed solution, Blackpool Council embarked on a bespoke Employee Communications Plan to communicate their scheme successfully amongst employees. This plan included an array of digital communications like intranet posts, portal banners and promotional emails detailing helpful information about Shared Cost AVCs for LGPS members. 


A number of these digital communications promoted a range of expert led webinars, available exclusively for Blackpool Council’s LGPS members to help them learn more about their Shared Cost AVC benefit, including the following: 


‘Maximising your Shared Cost AVC’ – A session dedicated to explaining how you can maximise your Shared Cost AVC and increase your retirement pot. Ideal for those over 55. 


‘How to retire early and with more money’ - A session dedicated to Shared Cost AVCs and how they can benefit you today, and at retirement 


Webinars have been refreshed to keep employees up to date on changing financial trends, like ‘Tax, Inflation and the Cost of Your Morning Coffee’, which helps employees make the most of their contributions in light of the recent tax rate increase. 


With a conversion rate of 21%, webinars have been a great success and a fantastic educational tool for Blackpool Council in helping their employees to plan confidently for retirement 


Following these webinars, employees were then invited to Individual ‘1-to-1’ Meetings to enable them to calculate their most efficient Shared Cost AVC contribution with one of AVC Wise’s retirement experts. 


For additional support, Blackpool Council have access to their own online ‘Always On’ portal on the AVC Wise website. Here their employees can make use of a retirement calculator, brief educational videos on the LGPS and Shared Cost AVCs and FAQs amongst other helpful resources. 


In continued efforts to increase employee engagement with their scheme, Blackpool Council made use of an LGPS Invitation Approach in February 2022 to all employees. This function enabled all LGPS members at Blackpool Council to be contacted directly and securely, inviting them to access their dedicated online Shared Cost AVC platform. With more of their workforce using the online portal as a result, Blackpool were able to raise further awareness of this life-changing benefit amongst employees. The same approach has been repeated for new joiners monthly to ensure maximum take-up in the scheme. 



The results 


Following launch in December 2020:

Shared Cost AVC participants: 116 

Monthly employee salary sacrifice: £12,594 


To date:

July 2023 Shared Cost AVC participants: 236 = 103% increase 

Monthly employee salary sacrifice: £157,832 = 346% increase 

£159,720 Employer savings since launch 


If you would like to a way to support your employees’ financial wellbeing as well as making substantial organisational savings like Blackpool Council, then look no further than a Shared Cost AVC scheme. Contact us now on 01252 959 779 or email us at info@avcwise.co.uk to find out more.

Young lady holding an electronic tablet device surrounded by inspirational words and illustrations

Blackpool Council

Blackpool Council increases AVC participation by 103%.

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