The UK’s £3.8bn (€4.4bn) National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) has launched a trial of a savings product to sit alongside its auto-enrolment pension fund service.At an event last night in London, the pension provider – set up by the UK government to lead the establishment of auto-enrolment into pension funds – announced it was testing a “sidecar” savings product with one of its clients.Guy Opperman, pensions and financial inclusion minister, described the trial as a “ground-breaking project” that “has the full support of the Department for Work and Pensions and the Treasury”.The minister also called for the financial services groups supporting the launch to get their staff involved in the trial. Timpsons, a high street chain of shops specialising in shoe repairs, will be the first employer to trial the savings account. It will roll out the service across its 5,600-strong workforce from the start of next year.Opperman told attendees at the launch event: “I can’t be financial inclusion minister without pointing out the opportunity to ensure your staff are signed on for something like this…“If you’re not motivated to support this, I question why you’re here. This really matters.”How it works Timpsons will be the first employer to trial the ‘sidecar’ savings conceptDesigned to improve “financial resilience”, the service will involve individual employees saving into what NEST has dubbed “jars”, with any pension contributions above the auto-enrolment minimum (currently 8% of salary) diverted into the savings account.This account is subject to a cap, set at £1,000 for the trial. Once the cap is hit, all contributions will go to the pension fund.Investors will be able to access the savings account – NEST’s research explored the application of barriers to accessing this account, but it has not implemented any formal restrictions. A spokeswoman for NEST said the account would be labelled “for emergencies”, as studies had shown that this kind of framing could influence how people used the money.Once the savings account falls back below the cap, contributions will automatically split again to pay into both accounts, until the savings account hits its limit again.Caroline Rookes, a trustee at NEST and chief executive of the UK’s Money Advice Service (MAS), said roughly a quarter of the UK population had no savings, and giving them the ability to save “absolutely transforms people’s lives”.Michael Royce, strategic lead on budgeting and saving at MAS, added: “We hope that [the trial] builds on emerging evidence that workplace savings initiatives can be an effective means of helping people enhance their financial resilience throughout their working lives both for the short-to-medium term and for when they move into retirement.”The model was developed by NEST and backed by research from the Harvard Kennedy School in the US.JP Morgan Chase’s charitable foundation and MAS are providing financial resources for the trial, while Salary Finance will provide the savings accounts.
Hull manager Steve Bruce has already confirmed talks have taken place about signing Sagbo, with the newly-promoted Premier League club reported to have bid £1.6million for the 25-year-old former Monaco forward. Although Evian did not name Hull in a short statement, or confirm a fee had been agreed, they said Sagbo had been given the go-ahead to hold talks with a club in England. Evian announced on their website: “Evian Thonon Gaillard FC have authorised Yannick Sagbo to go to England to visit the facilities and meet the leaders of a club, in the case of an eventual transfer.” Regarding French-born Ivorian Sagbo, Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail: “We’re in conversations. “My chief executive is speaking with Evian and we’re hopeful that we can get something done because he would be a good addition. “He’s a little bit different to what we’ve got. He’s quick, he’s direct and he wants to run in behind. “It’s hard talking about a player who belongs to another club but there has been dialogue and we’ll see where it takes us. We’ll be patient and see what develops.” Evian striker Yannick Sagbo appears to have moved a step closer to joining Hull after his club gave him permission to travel to England. Press Association
1 West Ham celebrate during 3-0 win over Hull in the Premier League West Ham co-chaiman David Sullivan has revealed his astonishing ambition for the East End club to be Premier League and European champions within the next five years.It’s been a fine campaign so far for the Hammers who, in seventh place, are currently just four points adrift of the top four.Sam Allardyce’s side were as high as third at one point, with the Upton Park faithful granted their long-term wish of attacking football thanks to summer signings Alex Song, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia, along with a return to form for both Stewart Downing and record signing Andy Carroll.West Ham’s attractive style has joint chairman Sullivan – who along with David Gold bought the club five years ago – aiming “to finish in a Champions League spot” this season.And asked how he sees the next five years for the club, he said: “I’d like to see us win the Premier League and then the Champions League.“Yes, I know it’s unlikely but again, not impossible – look at Atletico Madrid. We can all dream.“We are West Ham United, we’re a big club, one of four big clubs in London. We have some catching up to do but we’ve closed the gap.“I’m optimistic and if things go our way we could beat Real Madrid tomorrow. It’s unlikely but not impossible.”Atletico broke decades of dominance from Real Madrid and Barcelona to win Spain’s Primera Division last season, while they also reached the Champions League final, where they were beaten in extra time by local rivals Real.Gold’s aims are not as fanciful as those of his colleague but he too believes his side can establish themselves as challengers for Europe for years to come.He added: “I would be disappointed if we don’t join the so-called top six within the next five years.“We know the fanbase is there and it will grow when we move [to the London Olympic Stadium in the summer of 2016].“This isn’t blind optimism. I can see everything coming together, culminating in us becoming a top club, challenging at the highest level with top players in an amazing stadium supported by amazing fans.”