· News

Worth it: L’Oréal pension scheme earns NAPF Pension Quality Mark

L’Oréal, the cosmetics and beauty company, has received the Pension Quality Mark (PQM) for its defined contribution (DC) pension scheme.

PQM recognises DC pension schemes with good contribution rates, which are well run by employers and clearly communicated to staff.

L'Oréal is the latest employer to receive this important recognition, raising the number of PQM holders to 110. This means that about 200,000 workers are now covered by a PQM-recognised pension.

Joanne Segars, chief executive at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), which launched PQM, said: "We are excited that L'Oréal has been awarded the PQM. This means its employees have access to a strong workplace pension. The ball is now in the employees' court and we hope they will take advantage of this good offer.

"The beauty industry tends to attract many young people. Too many of them are saving little or nothing when it comes to retirement. They are setting themselves up for an old age in poverty if they do not get into the habit of saving for their retirement."

Isabelle Minneci, HR director for L'Oréal UK & Ireland, added: "L'Oréal is a dynamic, entrepreneurial place to work. We employ 3,000 of the UK's leading beauty professionals and we actively encourage our employees to take up our pension at an early stage in their career.

"We are delighted to have our pension scheme recognised by the awarding of the PQM. "We believe that our pension reflects an excellent benefit to our employees and we have worked hard to make it more accessible and attractive, and to encourage our staff to think about their long-term financial plans." PQM was launched by the NAPF to recognise high-quality defined contribution (DC) pensions. It also aims to raise awareness among employers about the importance of providing solid pensions to staff.

There are two standards, PQM and PQM Plus. Vodafone, Nationwide, Capital One, Roche, Centrica and Liberty IT are some of the employers that have received a PQM recently.

To qualify for the mark, pension schemes need to meet the following criteria:

• Good contribution rates. For PQM, the total contributions need to be of at least 10%, with a minimum employer contribution of 6%. For PQM Plus, they need to be of at least 15%, with the employer contributing at least 10%.

• Good quality governance and low charges.

• Clear and ongoing communication with the scheme members.