Nautilus helps to ensure members are well provided for in retirement by sitting on the board of the UK multi-employer pension provider Ensign Pensions – which offers the industry-wide scheme Ensign Retirement Plan and continues to oversee the old MNOPF scheme. Ensign chief executive Andrew Waring answers questions about the company and its work
At Ensign we understand pensions and the complexities of the maritime industry. We appreciate the unique challenges and needs of maritime organisations and their varied workforce. Ensign’s Trustee Board has been employed in the sector, on aggregate, for several decades and together, these maritime industry leaders have helped deliver a master trust pension scheme that cuts red tape, offers lower administration costs and is not-for profit, putting the industry and all its employees, first. We also tailor our plan to support the transient, seasonal nature of seafaring professionals and longer tenures alike.
- How has employee welfare increasingly become a maritime HR issue?
There is currently a lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding pensions provision and how much is really required to have a financially secure future. We, as a coalition, of pensions providers, trade unions, 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.
- What makes Ensign different from other pensions providers?
As the only dedicated maritime not-for-profit pension provider, Ensign offers some of the lowest management charges available, aimed at benefiting employees. Being a not-for-profit scheme means you could end up with an extra £27,000 on average over the full life of your retirement savings, compared with a scheme that generates profits for shareholders or the like, all other elements being equal.
- Why should pensions be considered a top priority for your employer?
In a recent survey we found that maritime employers view the recruitment and retention of staff as their single biggest HR challenge. Many employers find that new recruits or apprentices, once trained, leave in favour of higher paid jobs. Appealing pension provision can form part of an attractive benefits package, along with salary and holiday entitlements, to help retain and attracting the top talent within our industry.
- How can pension provision help address the skills deficit?
Several UK industry sectors are experiencing deepening skills shortages meaning organisations are competing with one another to recruit top calibre candidates. Being able to offer a high quality, low cost pension scheme is a major weapon in the armoury of any business when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
We believe it is essential that fellow maritime professionals govern this plan to safeguard the interests of the seafaring community, building a strong future for this vital industry.