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Success story

No longer stressful: how Paddle's people got passionate about pensions

Paddle is the payments, tax, and subscription solution for SaaS companies and serves more than 4,000 software businesses around the world.

“At Paddle, we help our customers grow and run their subscription revenue automatically. We are so aware of the economic situation in 2023, and we provide world-class service to help our customers continue to grow their revenue in these tough times,” said Aileen Walsh, People Operations & Data Lead at Paddle.

Aileen told us about the experience of introducing Penfold’s workplace pension scheme to Paddle’s team of 350 employees.

Paddle's challenge

Aileen describes Paddle’s previous pension provider as being good at handling employees’ investments, but not so great at the customer service.

"What was missing was the human side in terms of interactions and education with the business."

Employees with questions about their pension would be met with a standard email response telling them to expect a response within 10 working days. Aileen describes the process as "really, really bureaucratic and slow."

Before partnering with Penfold, Paddle's pension service was nothing out of the ordinary: "just very standard deductions."

"I never really had employees want to talk about pensions. They’ve always been a bit of a mystery that gets taken out of their pay check every month." According to Aileen, there's been "not much dialogue around it. There's not much education around it."


Penfold's solution

Changing the company pension to Penfold was helped by the communication that was offered.

"We have a Penfold account manager in our internal Slack channels so people can just really, really quickly fire off questions. And then, of course, there's the full support team if they want to email," said Aileen.

Penfold’s educational resources were well-received, too. Aileen recalls how even long-standing employees were suddenly saying, "Oh wow, I didn't know this about my pension, I didn't know how it works."

"That piece of education has really improved the financial knowledge and hopefully wellbeing of our people," said Aileen.

Pensions has always been a bit of a stressful topic for her as an HR lead, something that's no longer a problem.

"Penfold’s team of dedicated experts are super responsive and will help me with any kind of questions or queries that I might have.
"There's no longer this restriction where I’m working as a kind of middleman. In fact, people can just go straight to the source and get whatever information they need," said Aileen.

Supporting HR

According to Aileen, Penfold’s team has made her role as a People Operations lead much easier, mainly through the focus on education and employee communication.

Aileen describes Penfold’s account management team as "really supportive", especially when it came to implementing the scheme.

"We had a few issues with moving across our old pensions, and the Penfold team completely took away any of the administrative work from my team."

This, she explains, allowed her team to keep focusing on their work and employees while "the pensions were sorted in the background."

Additionally, Penfold recommended introducing salary sacrifice, an employee benefit Paddle’s team wasn’t previously prioritising.

By hosting launch sessions to make employees aware of how salary sacrifice works, Penfold helped Paddlers take the opportunity to save on tax through salary sacrifice.

Meanwhile, quarterly sessions help new joiners learn about the service and give existing employees an opportunity to refresh their knowledge.


Results

Since Paddle started working with Penfold, Aileen has seen a significant increase in employee engagement with their pensions.

"Over 90% of our employees are using salary sacrifice", and many are also making additional voluntary contributions to their pension based on their life circumstances."

She also highlights a major change in employee attitudes toward pensions. For the first time, she has noticed employees considering how they can increase their contributions and make their pensions work for them and their families

“Penfold is really helping with their financial empowerment in the current world where financial stability is important to our Paddlers.”

According to Aileen, Penfold makes employees feel more connected to their pension pot and eases any concerns they might have about where their money is being invested.

On a personal note, she added, "Penfold makes me happy and excited about pensions, which I never thought I would ever say in my entire life. So I'm a big advocate, for sure.”

Penfold was absolutely amazing in terms of the education, the training, and all the administrative backlog that goes on with moving over pension providers. It ran so smoothly, I would say to other PeopleOps Leads: ‘Don't hesitate at all.

Aileen Walsh

People Operations & Data Lead at Paddle

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