Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Maritime Professionals Need to Plan for Their Financial Future

Pension Specialists Illustrate the Need for Savings
Shipping News Feature
UK – Earlier this month Spinnaker Global, which deals in marine sector recruitment, hosted the 13th Maritime HR Conference in London and attended by MP Nusrat Ghani. One of the key sponsors of the event was Ensign, which claims the title of Britain's only maritime pension specialist, and some interesting facts arose when the not-for-profit outfit questioned the audience on what is required to provide today's logistics professionals with an acceptable sum when their working days were over.

Questioned on the importance as to the relevance of pensions as a tool for recruiting and retaining the best talent, of the pool of maritime HR professionals present less than 10% responded that they felt pensions were extremely important. This view is diectly opposed to the response of employees, and echoes similar sentiments expressed in a poll last year.

More worryingly, when the same group were asked, ‘How much do you need to provide a basic level, single life pension of £25,000 per annum at age 65?’ answers ranged from £150,000 to £1 million with only one respondent submitting the correct answer: £460,000. Ivan Laws, Pensions Director at Ensign said:

“It is surprising to see only one delegate providing the correct answer to the biggest question we asked at the Maritime HR Conference. If we look even deeper at required pension provisions and we know that £460,000 will only buy a basic level pension, we see that in real terms, to buy an equivalent £25,000 pension, with spouses’ provision and that keeps pace with inflation, would cost a whopping £826,000.

“These are significant sums of money, in many cases more than the value of people’s homes, but the need to plan for financial stability in retirement is not highlighted enough. Pensions are a vital aspect of any benefit package and, to reiterate Nusrat Ghani’s statement at the conference, we need to focus on attracting and retaining the top talent in the maritime industries and shielding the welfare of employees. If employers are not aware of what is required to fund a meaningful retirement it could well end up leeching into employees’ well-being, and at that point, it becomes a HR problem.

“We, as a coalition of pension providers, business management and HR professionals, have a duty of care towards employees to prevent what could be a catastrophic realisation later in working life that their twilight years are likely to be a financial struggle, or worse.”

Ensign is a Master Trust exclusively for the maritime industry, with over 60 employers to date, 4,450 members and more than £100 million under management. The plan is portable, allowing members to move from job to job, or career-to-career, whilst taking their savings with them, and its flexible retirement options allow for phased retirement through the new income drawdown account.

Speaking at the conference Ms Ghani, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and Assistant Government Whip, urged delegates to focus on skills in the light of the paucity of suitable professional labour available throughout the industry. She also pushed the case for more diversity in the maritime sector and welfare for the future.

Photo: Nusrat Ghani MP who urged the conference to integrate more women into the maritime sector.