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Case study: How McDonald’s tackled auto enrolment challenge

How McDonald's tackled the pension auto enrolment challenge

September 4, 2014

The process of pension auto enrolment has been one of the UK’s biggest internal communication challenges in recent years.

Fast food giant McDonald’s has given a fascinating insight into its strategy for rolling out the change to staff at its 1,200 UK stores.

The auto enrolment system, which began in October 2012 and is scheduled to take six years to complete, sees part of workers’ pay packets being automatically placed into a pension savings pot.

Those with a work-related pension or self-employed are not affected.

In a revealing interview with the Plansponsor website, McDonald’s reward manager Neal Blackshire explained how the organisation approached the change with such a diverse workforce.

He said: “Our people are real ambassadors for us. We try to create the best environment for them, which in turn positively impacts our customers’ experience.

“We have more than 1,200 restaurants across the UK and around 800 of these are franchised to local business men and women.

“And for us, all employees both at company and franchised restaurants are an absolute priority, so careful consideration was given to how we could best serve both.”

With numerous options available to colleagues over their pension plans, McDonald’s opted for a straight-forward “internal communications journey” over a three month period.

This included:

* Emails sent to all management
* Updates in the company’s weekly business email newsletter
* Information on McDonald’s Our Lounge employee portal and intranet
* Messages places in pay-slips of hourly paid employees.

Neal explained: “The overriding theme of the communications was intentionally simple, factual, and informative and signposted where further information could be obtained.

“Further to this, to encourage salaried employees to opt-up and increase their own contributions, we include a section in each employee’s annual total rewards statement to highlight; the increased pension benefits to which they could be entitled.”

The result? The initial bedding-in period saw extremely low opt-out rates – 2.81 per cent for salaried employees and 2.05 per cent for hourly-paid staff.

Neal added: “It’s been a great success so far. Auto enrolment commenced on time with processes performing as expected.”

To read the full article, visit the Plansponsor website here…