Pensions top list of salary sacrifice options for European workers

Nearly 50 per cent of workers would sacrifice pay for a higher pension contribution by their employer
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Europeans are certainly a practical bunch, with nearly 50 per cent of workers stating that they would sacrifice pay for a higher pension contribution by their employer, compared to only 13 per cent who would give up some of their salary for extra vacation days, according to consulting firm Aon Hewitt.

The desire for greater pension contributions from employers is uniformly the benefit most requested across all surveyed countries. While pensions have become a hot-button issue across Europe over recent years, this finding demonstrates that European workers are beginning to take their long-term savings and future seriously.

This research is part of Aon Hewitt's European Employee Benefits Benchmark, a survey of more than 7,500 workers from across Europe. The survey focuses on the views of workers on topics such as retirement, employee benefits and other pension-related issues.

Across Europe, financial security in the event of a serious injury or illness was also a popular ‘salary sacrifice’ option, as was assistance with saving for a major expenditure such as a home, car or school fees.

Top 10 benefits Europeans would like if they were part of their pay packet. (Achieved by sacrificing some of the pay they would actually receive.)

Benefit

European Average

1. A higher pension contribution from your employer

49%

2. Greater financial protection in the event of illness/injury

35%

3. A savings plan to help save for a specific goal (e.g. home deposit, car, school fees)

26%

4. Ability to take 3 – 6 months unpaid or part-paid leave

26%

5. An education course of worker’s choice

23%

6. Childcare

18%

7. Alternative healthcare treatments

15%

8. Purchase extra vacation days

13%

9. A home cleaning and ironing service

10%

10. Company mobile phone

9%

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