Morrisons has signed up TV personal finance expert Alvin Hall to help its staff manage their money better and encourage them to sign up to a new “cash balance” pension scheme which, it claims, will make it easier for them to plan for retirement.
Morrisons said the new scheme, which launches in October, was better than the more common defined contribution schemes as it provided a predictable pension pot for employees and shared the risk of being in the scheme between Morrisons and the employees.
Employees’ contributions will be at least matched by Morrisons and held in the new scheme. The retailer will manage and underwrite the investment to produce a guaranteed fund upon retirement.
Such pension schemes are commonplace in the US but still rare in the UK, it added.
Hall will front Morrisons’ “Save your dough” campaign to encourage employees to sign up to the scheme, as well as providing more general personal financial advice.
“We are developing this innovative pension scheme because our aim is to build strong longer-term relationships with all our colleagues. Providing a trustworthy predictable pension is our way of showing our commitment to our colleagues throughout their career and into retirement,” said Morrisons group HR director Norman Pickavance.
“I believe this approach will set us apart and help ensure that colleagues will stay with us for the long term,” he added.
Morrisons said it was responding to a call from the government for companies to look into alternatives to defined contribution pensions.