Employee benefits and first-time buyers

ended 25. May 2022

A journalist at Employee Benefits magazine is writing a piece on what employers can offer in terms of workplace support for first-time buyers. She's keen to know….

  • Are there any employee benefits that are focused on getting people on the property ladder?
  • Are employers doing anything innovative?
  • What guidance and support is available through employers (or what could/should there be)? 
  • Has this type of benefit grown in popularity recently?
  • What are some of the key ways in which employers can help employees' money go further, e.g. are there any specific benefits such as LISAs?
  • How can employers help employees to understand and improve their credit ratings?
  • How can employers offer access to mortgage brokers/advisers?

8 responses from the Newspage community

Employers can definitely offer services such as access to a mortgage broker on a monthly basis and no doubt it would be useful for staff to be able to go and ask questions in an informal setting. The problem lies with the employers though. I've tried on numerous occasions to set these types of surgeries up however all that ever happens is you come up against annoying gatekeepers and HR bods sat in their ivory towers who either think they know better or don't see that it adds value. As such I've given up with the idea.
Employers are certainly becoming more aware of the need to help their employees with their personal finances. Only last week we were contacted by a local employer looking to appointing an IFA to help advise their employees on a range of financial matters.
Are there any employee benefits that are focused on getting people on the property ladder? There are non to write home about in the majority of places the occasional discount here and there I have held a few clinics with employers in the past but there seems to be a lack of interest from employers to ensure mortgage workshops and appointments can be held on site to help employees. Are employers doing anything innovative? I have an open-door policy for any employer local or national that wishes to use my expertise to the benefit of their employees it costs the employer nothing and generally will have good traction as employers rarely know if employees are looking to move or what their financial situation is. What guidance and support is available through employers (or what could/should there be)? There really is not much support for employers except for making their HR departments and gatekeeps aware that it's beneficial to have something in place should employees require expert financial advice as we have all seen it's all but disappearing from high street banks. Has this type of benefit grown in popularity recently? It has not the odd employers offer this benefit but in the grand scheme any employer with over 50 employees not offering this is missing a trick. How can employers offer access to mortgage brokers/advisers? They can either contact a local business that offers mortgage services and see if there is any synergy and if the businesses can work together it not only benefits the employers but also the local mortgage business.
I've not come across an employee benefits schemes or packages that specifically address mortgage needs in this way. I have however heard of local arrangements between brokers and employers that maybe give reduced mortgage advice fees to employees of the firm, or mortgage clinics at the employers premises to help answer questions and educate potential future borrowers - both of which are simple and cheap for the employer to set up and offer great value to the employee, as well as helping the broker generate new business and clients.
"Employers could offer discounted or free access to Financial Planning to their employees. Some people feel embarrassed asking the "obvious" questions and if the employers arrange for someone they can talk to, this should ease their worries. Employers could also offer for these meetings to take place during working hours, so that they do not need to take time off to meet with someone."
There are some very few and far between employers that will offer access to funds to assist with a deposit or relocation. Beyond this there is nothing, but it could be an interesting area for employers to explore to see if more can be offered. Given the increase in house prices, the lack of increase in wages, an assisted deposit scheme might be something that is particularly attractive to first time buyers and could be staged over a few years to aid employee retention.
My VIP Rewards helps people to save on their everyday living expenses , things like supermarket shopping, online shopping, high street and supporting small businesses. With discounts to help first time buyers to kit out their house! With over 5,000 discounts we can help employers to support their employees as prices continue to rise. We also have a money blog on our site to help employees to budget and manage their money better. We have seen a rise recently in orders, especially from medium sized SME businesses , as we have no minimum employee numbers like some of the larger benefits providers. It’s nice to see employers supporting their teams with their finances , mental health around debt is high and anything employers can do to reduce this doesn’t go unnoticed with employees
Employers along with educational institutions can definitely do more to support first time buyers and the main way this can be achieved is by helping them to understand how mortgages work or simply linking up with a whole of market mortgage broker to provide educational seminars. It is important for buyers to understand the benefit of speaking to a whole of market broker, as there are huge differences in how much each lender would be able to lend to the same applicant and a wide range of qualifying criteria. Many first time buyers will restrict themselves to what their own bank can offer and miss out on better options elsewhere.