Salary exchange for Defined Contribution schemes

Salary exchange offers National Insurance savings to employers and employees on their DC pension contributions

Retirement can seem like a distant prospect, and it’s hard to communicate pension benefits when many employees, especially younger ones, see it as an unwanted expense.

Salary exchange, or salary sacrifice, is an arrangement that is growing in popularity with Defined Contribution schemes.

Salary exchange makes pension contributions more efficient and attractive. It offers National Insurance contribution savings to employees and employers alike, and can also give higher-rate taxpayers full tax relief without the need to claim it through their tax return.

Salary exchange can either reduce your costs, increase member benefits at no additional expense to the company, or a bit of both. And the costs of setting it up are usually paid back within a few years.

How can First Actuarial help you set up salary exchange?

We can advise you how to set up a salary exchange arrangement for your Defined Contribution scheme. We have a streamlined process for setting up a salary exchange programme that is quick and cost-efficient.

We start by running a workshop with key staff from HR, pensions, payroll and legal functions. We explain how salary exchange works, set out the cost savings available and agree the design of the arrangement. We listen to your needs and help you strike the right balance between cost savings and improved membership benefits.

Get in touch

Need help with salary exchange? Get in touch with us today.

Find out more about our Defined Contribution services

Download our Defined Contribution brochure.

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First Actuarial case studies

Hachette UK

Hachette UK, one of the UK’s largest publishing groups, turned to First Actuarial to help improve staff engagement with pensions.

“One of the things I like about First Actuarial is that they’re very responsive. You never have to chase them for anything. They’re pragmatic and cost-effective.”



The RSPB was determined to minimise the impact of its new defined contribution scheme on employees, and appointed First Actuarial to support the transition and select a provider with strong ethical values.

“I would definitely recommend working with First Actuarial. Their consultants went over and above the call of duty to make sure the project progressed smoothly.”


Bolton Cares

Taking responsibility for care services previously provided by a local authority, Bolton Cares turned to First Actuarial for help in setting up a competitive and affordable DC pension scheme for its staff.

“They’ve been really helpful and professional throughout the project, and we’ll use them again if we need specialist advice.”

See all our case studies
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