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WoFEd Working Group

ifs ProShare Workplace Education working group

ifs ProShare is a representative members' organisation that supports and promotes employee share ownership and financial education within the workplace. Its members are companies, advisers, consultants and service providers involved in employee share ownership who believe that companies have a responsibility to educate their workforce about the benefits, risks and opportunities connected with their share plans.

Background

There is a general lack of financial literacy in the UK. Recent changes to pensions provision and pensions legislation has made it vitally important for people to make their own provisions for retirement. The FSA's Financial Capability strategy covers the provision of generic advice in workplaces but there is still a requirement and an opportunity to alert employees to the full opportunities available from their companies' employee share plans both as vehicles for savings and for financial planning whether for the immediate, medium or long term.

Purpose of the Group
  • To discuss and determine a blueprint for financial education within the workplace with a specific emphasis on employee share plans and retirement/financial planning.
  • To determine the wider benefits of employee share plans – ie to show that participation in share plans can encourage people to think about other financial planning needs.
  • To work closely with FSA, HM Treasury and DWP initiatives on ways to promote financial capability through employers.
  • To report findings back to the ifs ProShare Faculty Board.
Parameters for consideration
  • Long term benefits of investing and saving
  • Pros and cons of employee share plans
  • Tax-free and other possibilities on maturity
  • SIP to Sipp
  • Share plans as a gateway to wider financial planning
  • Financial planning
  • List of accredited advisers/IFAs
  • Consider qualification for IFAs to advise specifically on these issues
  • Consider qualification for company employees
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