Workie says: 'Don't ignore the workplace pension'

By Louise Mulgrew | 23rd October 2015 | 3 min read

[YouTube id = "WhOp8BJa2hk"]

Workie; the physical embodiment of the workplace pension has been introduced by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to remind small businesses not to ignore pensions in the workplace.

You can learn more about how IRIS can help you easily run your auto enrolment by watching our free webinars detailing the 10 reasons to choose payroll for auto enrolment over third party systems. Simply follow the links below:

I am an accountant. Book my free place >>

I am a small business. Book my free place >>

The message from TPR is:

The humorous ads come with a serious message. While automatic enrolment into workplace pensions has been rolling out across the UK since 2012, it is only now that 1.8 million small and micro employers are being required to take action to help their staff to save for later life.

This is an important message because while the more corporate style "We're all in" campaign involving Dragon Theo Paphitis was appropriate for encouraging larger businesses to adopt the new legislation; this "big business jargon" may go straight over the heads of the everyday hairdresser, florist or window cleaner.

Between now and 2018, 1.8 million small and micro employers will all need to take action to remain compliant with the pension legislation and the message behind the "Workie" campaign is not to ignore your duties.

By adopting a workplace pension and therefore automatically enrolling eligible workers into the scheme, you are not just complying with the legislation, but you are actively helping your employees prepare for their retirement. 

As the population lives longer, the proportion of people working in comparison to those who are retiring is decreasing. Consequently there will be less people working (and ultimately paying taxes) and more people of a retirement age. A state pension alone will not be enough for people to live off when they retire and has placed an increased importance on saving for a pension yourself.

Pensions Minister, Baroness Altmann said:

“We have made great strides forward by automatically enrolling more than five million people into a workplace pension – now the challenge is to make sure hardworking people with every type of employer get to enjoy this major financial benefit.

“This is a fun and quirky campaign but behind it lies a very serious message. We need everyone to know they are entitled to a workplace pension – and we need all employers to understand their legal responsibility to their staff, but also to feel more positive about engaging with workplace pensions.

“This Government is committed to providing security for working people at every stage of their lives, and that includes giving people the chance to plan for a financially secure retirement. Automatic enrolment is a big part of that.”

There has been a lot of speculation around the appropriateness of the campaign and whether the message is right for small businesses, or whether the campaign is in fact patronising.

If anything, when it comes to big advertising and publicity campaigns, arguably the key measure is exposure. Love it or hate it, the advertising campaign has picked up publicity in various major publications such as The Independent, The Guardian and The Metro. The video has amassed over 23,000 views on YouTube already since its inception.

Whether you like it or not, Workie is here to stay. What do you think about the campaign? Is it patronising? Does it give out the right message or do you think that people will be more likely to think too much about its resemblance to a certain cartoon movie character?