CVS says it is hopes that the vast majority of its staff will opt to stay within the Government’s new workplace pension scheme called Automatic Enrolment. It has just been rolled out across the company, which is the UK’s largest and fastest growing corporate veterinary practice.
Automatic enrolment is a Government initiative to encourage employees to plan ahead and save for their old age via a workplace pension scheme. With effect from October 2013, staff are being encouraged to contribute one per cent of their salary to the pension scheme with their contribution then matched by their employer. Over time, they will be encouraged to save more with their employer also matching the higher amount. While staff are ‘automatically’ enrolled into the scheme with effect from October 2013, they do retain the option to opt out after the first month.
Helen Wiseman, Director of HR at CVS, comments: “In common with many others, the veterinary sector faces the challenge that too few of those it employs are thinking ahead and saving for later life. The problem is particularly acute within veterinary nursing but many vets should also be trying to save more for their future.
The Government’s Automatic Enrolment scheme aims to address this and, over the last few months, we’ve run a major internal communications programme to explain it to our employees and to encourage them to stay in it. We’ve run road shows and used staff meetings and posters to help convey the message that, in reality, signing up, equates to receiving a pay rise as the contribution they make to their pension will be matched by us.
We also ran a campaign using teabags overprinted with the words ‘relax with a cup of tea and consider your contributions’ to encourage staff to think about the scheme while they were having a tea break. This proved popular and generated a big response.
Initial feedback about the scheme has been very positive and we will continue our efforts to build awareness and understanding of the benefits it offers to maximise participation in the scheme among our employees in the months ahead.”
CVS UK Ltd is the largest and fastest-growing corporate veterinary group in the UK. Founded in 1999, it employs more than 2,500 staff at its veterinary practices and surgeries across the UK and in its related veterinary businesses, including an online pharmacy, two pet crematoriums and six veterinary laboratories.
Key to its success is CVS’ ability to attract ambitious veterinary staff and to invest in their clinical skills, knowledge and in research to drive the profession forward. It also provides the business support to ensure its diverse range of small animal, large animal and equine practices achieve their full potential. CVS works in close partnership with the wider veterinary profession and industry colleagues.