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Lorica's view on the hot topics of the employee benefits world.

News by category: Health, Risk & WellbeingCorporate PensionFlexible Benefits, Benefit & Reward ConsultingGeneral InsuranceFinancial Education.

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11 Aug 2014
Childcare voucher scheme announcement

National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will work in collaboration to provide the government’s new tax-free child scheme, it has been announced. The decision on how to deliver the scheme was selected from a range of alternatives, including having a government provider, using a single, private...

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07 Aug 2014
Health management and HWS

The in-coming Health and Work Service will have ‘minimal interaction’ with employers, Leslie Wolfe, head of newly-appointed operator, Health Management has said. Health Management, a subsidiary of Maximus, was awarded the government contract at the end of July. In an exclusive interview with Workplace Savings & Benefits, Wolfe confirmed that the focus...

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01 Aug 2014
Pension scams increase

Pension trustees and providers have been urged to remind customers of the dangers of ‘cashing in’ their pensions through unsolicited offers via text messages, website or cold calls as instances of pension scams are on the increase. The Pensions Regulator who issued the warning, revealed that a total of £495m has...

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30 Jul 2014
Salary sacrifice car schemes

Businesses should provide more communication about salary sacrifice car schemes, members say. Following a Zenith Leasedrive survey about salary sacrifice which found that 85 per cent of scheme participants wanted to see improved communication around car schemes, scheme take-up levels were found to increase depending on the quality of communication and...

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24 Jul 2014
Could the retirement age increase to 70?

The UK retirement age could ultimately increase to 70 to help ease the strain on health-related spending due to an increasing ageing population, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned.According to the government office, continued spending on health, social care and state pensions is likely to become unsustainable and...

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21 Jul 2014
Employers focus on mental health awareness

Employers have a ‘vital role’ to play in raising mental health awareness in the workplace, mental health charity Mind has said. Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, told Employee Benefits magazine that although supporting staff with diagnosed mental health issues was important, taking the proactive approach by providing wellbeing...

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11 Jul 2014
4 out of 5 prefer to cash save rather than invest

Consumer preferences to cash save rather than invest in shares or funds could undermine retirement planning, annuity provider Just Retirement has warned. The warning comes following research into the impact that new flexible pension rules could have on long-term financial planning. Under the new rules, from April 2015, pensioners will have...

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02 Jul 2014
TPR non compliance breaches procedure

The Pensions Regulator has expanded on how specific non-compliance auto-enrolment issues will be dealt with following discussions with Lorica Employee Benefits. They had previously warned that many UK employers may already be in breach of the Regulations. In some cases, it was due to employers failing to issue valid postponement notices...

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26 Jun 2014
41% Don't understand retirement savings

The government’s pension reforms - from auto-enrolment to pension charge caps, to the latest 2014 budget pension changes to abolish annuities - were brought about to improve flexibility and transparency whilst encouraging people to save for their retirement. But a new report based on two separate surveys of over 3,000 working...

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23 Jun 2014
The Consumer Rights Bill and Flexible Benefits

The Consumer Rights Bill, which gives more protection to consumers and their purchases, came into force on the 13 June 2014. Ensuring products and services are ‘fit for purpose’, that faults are repaired free of charge and that consumers get what they paid for, are all key components of the...

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Lorica wins major awards at Corporate Adviser Awards

ca awards logoLorica won two major awards at the Corporate Adviser ceremony on Wednesday night - 'Best Use of Technology by a Corporate Adviser' and the ultimate award, 'Corporate Adviser Firm of the Year'.

Tobin Murphy Coles, Commercial Director and David Battle, CEO, took to the stage to pick up the trophies.

"Our industry has been through a rollercoaster period of changes and developments which affect all employers and employees," said Murphy-Coles. Our stance has not just been to face the challenges, but to work far beyond them to develop technology described as 'like looking at an iPod for the first time'. To have recognition from industry experts that our business is at the forefront of supporting customers through the upheaval is an outstanding moment for our team. I couldn't be prouder of all our people."

Bigblue and its money module put an employee's workplace and personal finances online in one place, something never achieved before. It brings together a person's entire 'financial universe', joining high street bank and workplace rewards together for the first time. An individual can see their current and savings accounts, credit cards along with all employee benefits so they get real-time clarity and simpler financial management. Employees enable the system to 'talk' to their own banks, credit card companies or any system where their money has an interest, so they can see the full picture of their financial situation, their spending habits - and what they can do to help themselves now and in the future.

On top of the money module, Lorica's flexible benefits, voluntary benefits, online benefits dashboard, pension and auto-enrolment modules combine into the Bigblue brand. Employers choose the modules to meet their corporate needs, with single sign on. However because Bigblue is 'agnostic' it can equally and seamlessly integrate with employers' existing flex and other EB platforms.

In essence, Bigblue allows employees to model future scenarios factoring in their entire financial universe and then enables them to implement those changes directly on the provider's platforms.

Lorica's Littleblue® auto-enrolment solution adds NOW:Pensions as master trust partner

A pension Master Trust arrangement has been added as an option to the first self-serve, integrated auto-enrolment and pension solution that guides employees through retirement savings. Littleblue® was launched last week by Lorica Employee Benefits. The new master trust arrangement, in partnership with NOW:Pensions, means employers have more choice depending on their needs.

Littleblue® is the first combined out-of-the-box system and pension solution which both engages employees and streamlines the auto-enrolment process for SMEs so they don't need adviser support. It now has both a GPP and Master Trust option for employers to choose from. Auto-enrolment obligations come into force for all companies by 2018 and 20,000 SMEs need to complete the process before July next year.

"Independent commentators say there is not enough advisory capacity to meet demand," said James Biggs, director of corporate pensions at Lorica Employee Benefits. "Littleblue® is the first off the shelf technology and pension product that supports SMEs through auto-enrolment so they meet their legal duties, as well as support employees in making wiser retirement saving choices.

A Master Trust is a single trust arrangement used by many employers, often ideal for smaller employers.

"Many will choose a master trust for cost savings and simpler governance. For us, it means we never have to say no to a client that needs a solution in order to comply with the new pension regulations. It is clear that the larger pension providers will be setting entry levels and timescales that may leave employers without a solution. NOW: Pensions is geared up to act swiftly and accurately when the spike in demand happens."

Littleblue® has been designed specifically to suit employers of 1-250 staff, but can be used by larger and smaller companies. It provides employers with an onboarding platform, auto-enrolment hub, online benefits portal, employee communications and opt-in and opt-out functionality to ensure it can be managed in an efficient and compliant way. Lorica then offers other options to support employers, including governance support, reporting functionality and financial education seminars for employees.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: "Lorica is a consultancy well-known for its in-depth market expertise and rigour. We are delighted to have been selected as the only master trust on Littleblue® and look forward to supporting Lorica's SME clients through the complexities of auto enrolment. NOW: Pensions has currently signed over 400 employers with more joining us every month. But, as auto-enrolment gathers pace, the opportunity that exists in the market is vast and partnering with Lorica will help ensure that even more UK SMEs can benefit from NOW: Pensions' high quality, low cost approach to pensions."

Previous auto-enrolment online solutions haven't knitted the process together and all have required extra advisory support; Littleblue® is the first to engage employees and streamline the process for SME employers so they are compliant with the complex rules. The single-sign-on employee hub allows individuals to better understand pension provider information, consider their retirement options and compare their contributions next to their peers.

Next year, tens of thousands of employers' statutory duty will be switched on, called staging, according to The Pensions Regulator. Within 5 years, 1.3 million employers will have automatically enrolled around 9 million workers into a work-based pension scheme. Not to do so properly could incur punitive fines for the employer.

For a fixed fee starting at £4,000 per annum, depending on company requirements, the proposition overcomes a number of compliance hurdles found in both the auto-enrolment process and establishment of a qualifying pension scheme. It handles all carefully worded statutory employee communications, including enrolment letters, right to opt-in and join letters, information to existing or qualifying pension schemes and letters from the pension provider. It handles opt-outs, leavers and new hires, as well as holds and manages all records required.

Littleblue® is also available with a ready-made group personal pension scheme from Scottish Widows with fixed annual management charges (AMC) based on the average contributions of the company's employees in 2018.

Littleblue® is associated with Lorica's Bigblue®, which brings together its flexible benefits, voluntary benefits, online benefits dashboard, pension and auto-enrolment modules into one system, with single sign on and links to relevant benefit providers. It also includes a ground-breaking Money module, described by one market expert as a seismic change, as it brings together, virtually for the first time, traditional banking and workplace rewards, something never achieved before. Several large employers are already working with Lorica to incorporate the technology for their staff.

Lorica launches first complete, off-the-shelf pension & AE solution for SMEs: Littleblue®

The first off-the-shelf technology and pension product to support SMEs through auto-enrolment has been developed by Lorica Employee Benefits to support over a million employers needing to legally comply with new pension regulations before 2018. Over 20,000 companies need to complete the process before July next year, yet independent commentators state there is not enough advisory capacity to meet demand. Pensions advisers from Lorica Employee Benefits, who have supported some of the largest corporates through auto-enrolment, have been instrumental in designing the online technology, called Littleblue®.

littleblue home page littleblue pension page littleblue ae page

Previous auto-enrolment online solutions haven't knitted the process together and all have required extra advisory support; Littleblue® is the first to engage employees and streamline the process for SME employers so they are compliant with the complex rules. The single-sign-on employee hub allows individuals to better understand pension provider information, consider their retirement options and compare their contributions next to their peers.

Next year, tens of thousands of employers' statutory duty will be switched on, called staging, according to The Pensions Regulator. Within 5 years, 1.3 million employers will have automatically enrolled around 9 million workers into a work-based pension scheme. To not do so properly could incur punitive fines for the employer.

Littleblue® provides employers with an onboarding platform, auto-enrolment hub, online benefits portal, employee communications and opt-in and opt-out functionality to ensure it can be managed in an efficient and compliant way. Lorica also offers other options to support employers, including governance support, reporting functionality and financial education seminars for employees. It has been designed specifically to suit employers of 1-250 staff, but can be used by larger and smaller companies.

For a fixed fee starting at £4,000 per annum, depending on company requirements, the proposition overcomes a number of compliance hurdles found in both the auto-enrolment process and establishment of a qualifying pension scheme. It handles all carefully worded statutory employee communications, including enrolment letters, right to opt-in and join letters, information to existing or qualifying pension schemes and letters from the pension provider. It handles opt-outs, leavers and new hires, as well as holds and manages all records required.

Littleblue® comes embedded with a ready-made group personal pension scheme from Scottish Widows with fixed annual management charges (AMC) based on the average contributions of the company's employees in 2018. The proposition will also come with Scottish Widow's award-winning mymoneyworks portal embedded within the Littleblue® hub.

Employers are largely unaware of both the advisory and onboarding capacity timebomb facing the UK; there is not enough pension expertise in the country to help over a million companies needing to meet their auto-enrolment obligations by their staging dates. Just 2,000 of the UK's largest employers have met their duties to date.

James Biggs, Director of Corporate Pensions at Lorica, said, "Whatever number of companies pensions advisers have taken past their auto-enrolment staging dates over the last few months, they'll have to do 10 times more in the next year. There is simply not enough expertise in the country to handle the demand, and we need technology to help companies comply with the complexities of the regulations. Without technology like this, a lot of small companies will be turned away from advisory support to handle it on their own, purely because there is a lack of man hours to get the job done.

"Littleblue® helps everyone involved in the process, not least individual pension scheme members and the employer. Yet, too, it benefits advisers and supports this quite enormous government initiative. It is a better way to get a large amount of SMEs past their staging dates, giving peace of mind over compliancy in one fixed fee purchase."

Pete Glancy, Head of Corporate Pensions Propositions at Scottish Widows said: "We are delighted to be working with Lorica to help support their small and medium-sized clients. The focus of our conversations right from the outset has been on delivering a quality proposition which will help generate the best outcomes for employees whilst ensuring the implementation process runs as smoothly as possible for the employer."

Littleblue® is associated with Lorica's Bigblue®, which brings together its flexible benefits, voluntary benefits, online benefits dashboard, pension and auto-enrolment modules into one system, with single sign on and links to relevant benefit providers. It also includes a ground-breaking Money module, described by one market expert as a seismic change, as it brings together, virtually for the first time, traditional banking and workplace rewards, something never achieved before. Several large employers are already working with Lorica to incorporate the technology for their staff.

Do you want to experience the ultimate benefit platform?

A benefits revolution has happened; it's called Bigblue®. An all-encompassing, forward-thinking benefit platform, Bigblue® combines employee benefits, workplace savings, and personal finances like never before. Join the revolution now. Have a look at the demo video to see what it's all about. 

One step closer to your perfect benefit solution

Call us now on 0844 573 0033 to find out more about any of our products or services, or to book an appointment to chat to one of our experts. Or you can email lets-talk@lorica.com. We'd love to hear from you.

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