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The organisation


Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council are an organisation with a total of 2901 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 before partnering with AVC Wise.


In July 2021, Stockton-on-Tees made the choice to join 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 further. Since July 2021, Stockton on Tees have worked closely with us to increase awareness of Shared Cost AVCs amongst their LGPS workforce to help more of their employees combat the rising cost of living.


In addition, as any employee Shared Cost AVC contributions are exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs), the expansion of their scheme has brought significant organisational savings for the Council. Here’s how they did it:



Objectives


  • Provide a valuable  and flexible retirement savings opportunity for their LGPS members

  • Support the workforce with effective retirement education

  • Grow scheme participation; grow savings!



Implementation


To launch their scheme successfully, Stockton-on-Tees worked closely in partnership with AVC Wise to create a bespoke Communications Plan to support the promotion of Shared Cost AVCs to as many LGPS members on their workforce as possible.


Firstly, the employees in the organisation paying into a standard AVC were invited by email to join their Shared Cost AVC platform and convert to the more cost-effective Shared Cost AVC. In response, 134 (83%) out of 162 existing standard AVC contributors transitioned to the new scheme within one month of launching.


To communicate their new benefit to the wider workforce,  Stockton-on-Tees had access to an array of digital communications such as intranet materials, portal banners and promotional emails with useful details about their scheme. Regular, informative webinars have been hosted for Stockton-on-Tees’ LGPS members by our retirement experts, providing effective retirement education on Shared Cost AVCs and the LGPS. Some titles include:


‘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.


With a 15.1% conversion rate, webinars have been a powerful educational tool for Stockton-onTees to help their employees feel more informed and confident about their retirement options.


Following these webinars, employees have the choice to book onto Individual ‘1-to-1’ Meetings, enabling them to calculate their most efficient Shared Cost AVC contribution with one of AVC Wise’s retirement experts.


For 24/7 support, Stockton-on-Tees’ members have access to their own online ‘Always On’ portal featuring brief educational videos, a retirement calculator and FAQs amongst other helpful resources.

Recently, the organisation launched an initiative to communicate further with LGPS members on their workforce nearing retirement. The new ‘Over 50s’ campaign promotes Shared Cost AVCs through webinars and targeted emails to educate members on how much added value the  scheme can bring to their retirement, and how they can use the time they have left at work to maximise their pension pot.



The results


Following launch in July 2021

Shared Cost AVC participants 147

Monthly employee salary sacrifice £10,880

Registered users to  their SCAVC platform: 188


To date July 2023

Shared Cost AVC participants 297 = 102% increase

Monthly employee salary sacrifice £59,117 = 443%

Registered users to  their SCAVC platform: 573 = 205% increase

£101,775 205% Total savings to date



If you would like to a way to support your employees’ financial wellbeing as well as making substantial organisational savings like Stockton-on-Tees Borough 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

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Stockton-on-Tees Council employees make the switch to Shared Cost AVCs.

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