The PLSA, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, held its annual conference last week in Liverpool.
Those attending were able to benefit from hearing from those in pensions, savings, business, the PLSA and the government who pondered the current and future of workplace savings.
The LISA was hotly debated with salient words that it will not be for everyone inside a workplace, that there is a grave concern it may deflect some from saving into a pension and so it urged companies in particular to caution before making a decision to offer it in the workplace.
Understanding your own workforce and surveying them about their preferences is key.
For example, if you have a high proportion of staff above the age of 40, then offering a LISA is not going to be well received as they won't be able to access it.
Likewise, if you have a fantastic defined contribution pension with scaled up employer contributions in line with employee contributions, it would be worth understanding the possible impact if a LISA were on offer.
We are weeks away from the Chancellor's Autumn Statement. Although there has been speculation that there will be no change to pensions, there has been increased pressure in recent weeks to delay the launch of the LISA.
For employers considering offering this in their workplace, it may be worth waiting until after then to see if there are any delays planned. Even if not, it will certainly be worth reviewing the potential impact inside your business and understanding whether this is something that will benefit your staff. And if you do, factor in increased financial education because if a LISA exists, then all employees will need to understand it, where it sits on the savings framework and how to optimise this alongside pensions.
PLSA 2016: Employers need to be wary of spending a lot of time and money on something employees may not really want when considering whether to provide a Lifetime ISA for staff, Thomas Cook head of group pensions Fiona Brown has advised. Speaking at the PLSA 2016 annual conference, Brown said: “LISAs, ISAs etc are all very interesting but my job is to provide a pension scheme. Is this [ISA] really a space we want to be in?” Instead she counselled against rushing into anything and recommended implementing focus groups and undertaking research about what employees want and how many decisions they are prepared to make. She gave the example of the many options within flexible benefits schemes, where some of the options, such as childcare vouchers, may only be taken up by a handful of employees.