Coronavirus and the financial crash before meant millions save little but now the Work and Save – Scotland campaign is offering a new workplace saving scheme in a bid to change to that.
Funding from the Scottish Community Lenders Fund is to kickstart save-as-you-work deals with major companies and organisations.
The set-up cost of these workers’ schemes financially will be nil, thanks to Social Investment Scotland (SIS) using public funds to bring campaigners Action for Financial Inclusion CIC and credit unions Capital and Scotwest together.
The scheme will be non-profitmaking because credit unions pay out their surplus income in dividends to savers, rather than pocketing the revenue.
It differs from general saving by using salary deduction to automate small painless payments.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “Putting a small amount of money aside on payday can make it easier for people to build up a valuable financial buffer that is there when they need it.
“I’m pleased that our Scottish Community Lenders fund is supporting Work and Save to help more employers set up workplace savings schemes.
“As well as promoting good financial management, it will also support credit unions by enabling them to offer a range of financial services to those who may not have access to more traditional financial routes.”
SIS Head of Investments Chris Jamieson said “Social Investment Scotland were delighted to manage the Scottish Community Lenders fund on behalf of the Scottish Government to help support credit unions and Community Development Financial Institutions in Scotland recover and grow following the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A consortium bid headed by Capital Credit Union, Scotwest Credit Union and the Financial Inclusion Centre focused on the promotion and expansion of payroll savings schemes throughout Scotland.
“This has led to the setting up of the Work and Save – Scotland initiative. With the initiative about to go live, we look forward to seeing the success and uptake of the scheme to help, encourage and support individuals to grow their individual savings, leading to more financial independence.”
Although Scotwest and Capital C.U.s will launch Work and Save- Scotland, local credit unions will take part in 2022.
The Scottish Government is keen to see more workers take advantage of credit union facilities as part of its financial inclusion goals.
Capital CEO Marlene Shiels OBE said: “We’re excited to be working with Scotwest credit union to grow the number of payroll saving schemes in Scotland.
“Through increased awareness and education, we hope to benefit employees by giving them a predictable and automatic tool for building financial resilience – employers too by reducing the stress
and money worries which often affect staff productivity and absenteeism.
“This joint initiative introduces the practical steps we’ll be taking over the coming year to see this vision fulfilled.”
Scotwest CEO Frances McCann said: “At Scotwest, we know access to financial services is essential for dignity and a decent life.
“Poor financial wellbeing not only affects individuals, but also has an impact within workplaces and on the wider Scottish economy.
“We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Capital Credit Union and Action for Financial Inclusion to promote payroll saving services across Scotland.
“I would urge employers to get involved with the Work and Save initiative to help empower their staff to build better financial lives.”
Allison Barnes, Scotland manager, The Money and Pensions Service said: “Promoting an expansion of payroll saving schemes presents a huge opportunity to make saving much easier for thousands of
workers across Scotland.
“Our own research has shown that modest payroll deduction saving can have a fundamental effect on people’s health and wellbeing by removing the stress of having nothing to fall back on.
“It is great to see Work and Save – Scotland working in partnership with two of the largest credit unions in Scotland, backed by Scottish Government, to provide a free service to employers and their workers to help implement payroll savings schemes.”
Interested employers and workers should visit webpage https://affi.org.uk/work-and-