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Face-to-face education boosts pensions take-up at Oracle

Software systems provider Oracle has increased the number of employers in its group personal pension scheme to 87%, following a financial education initiative.

Pensions advisory firm Secondsight held 123 group education presentations across nine locations to 3,200 Oracle employees. Presentations were supplemented by webinars for non-office-based staff.

A bespoke online pension video was produced and launched for new joiners and for those who want to be reminded about the pension. The 16-minute video is available to all employees on its iLearning site, Oracle's internal training platform, and on a standalone microsite.

As a result of the successful communication exercise, Oracle has seen membership of its group personal pension increase to 86.7%, up from 77%. When these figures are looked at in more detail, there is a strong correlation between those employees who attended a presentation or webinar and a significant increase in membership and employee contributions levels.

On average, employees contribute 11.9%, when taking into consideration additional voluntary contributions

Oracle operates a matched scheme at 6% of headline base salary. Last year, it launched salary sacrifice in conjunction with the GPP. For all employee contributions greater than the 6%, Oracle invests a further 6.9% of the employer NI savings back into the employee's plan, further enhancing the individual's pension savings.

Vance Kearney, Oracle's VP for HR, EMEA, said: "I believe having a pension in place without any form of proactive face-to-face education is a waste of time. Without it, an employer may as well not bother to offer one. How can we expect the majority of employees to know what they have to save to get the retirement they want without any guidance? Employees need more than paper or online explanations.

"At Oracle, we wanted to do the right thing for our employees. Yet due to our aggressive acquisition approach, we have been unable to take the proactive action we have wanted to until now. It has proved the right time to consolidate our offering for the benefit of our employees. At last, we are able to provide consistent contribution levels and give guidance and education to our workforce. I am delighted that the vast majority of our employees have acted upon the guidance given."

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