Sharesave (Say as you Earn, SAYE) plans have been around for 37 years and in 2016 1.4 million employees used them as part of their savings plans.

Share incentive plans (SIPs, also known as Buy as you Earn) are a younger cousin having been around for 17 years.

Both types of workplace share benefit are well used, established savings plans and can give employees valuable tax-efficient ways to save over the medium term (3 to 5 years). They can also be used to bolster pension savings and there is the option of benefiting from the success of the company they work for.

But when there is so much talk about LISA and pensions, share benefits may be overlooked. However, as a savings choice, they are something to be seriously considered. 

This research from Proshare shows the average monthly saving in 2016 to be £158 into SAYE and £89 into SIP, so not insignificant looking at savings amounts of £5,688 over 3 years in an SAYE and £5,340 into a SIP after 5 years.

Share benefits are a useful part of helping employees to save and to build up capital over the medium term. When offered as part of workplace benefits these should be up there with pensions as one of the first places to look when considering savings.