Workplace savings plan to launch

Standard Life is developing a workplace savings plan as the first stage of its Employee Wealth Plan corporate wrapper proposition.

Standard says a launch of the product, which is still in the early stages of development but is expected this year, may have features including bank deposit savings, a cash Isa, access to stocks and shares and a sharesave rollover solution. The provider expects the plan to offer tools similar to those used for retirement planning adapted for savings.

Employee Wealth Plan is being developed in conjunction with Vebnet, the employee benefits software firm bought by Standard for £24m last September. Further developments will in future include flexible benefits.

Standard is planning to incorporate a full range of financial planning solutions on the platform to cover all stages of all employees’ life cycles at some time in the future, including debt, mortgage, pensions, Sipp, drawdown and annuity features, although a date for full development of the proposition is yet to be fixed. It says existing benefits provision focuses on pensions when younger, less affluent staff have more pressing financial needs that are not being catered for.

It plans to offer the product without any extra cost being borne by employers, with the cost of Employee Wealth Plan being generated through the products themselves.

Jamie Jenkins, head of employee wealth solutions at Standard Life says: “We see Employee Wealth Plan as the next stage in the evolution of employee benefits provision. It will ultimately offer a wide range of products that meet the needs of all stages of an employee’s life-cycle with the added benefit of powerful education and communication tools.

“Consultancy opportunities for advisers will remain in relation to the construction of products but will also develop on the configuration of benefits packages.”