SURPRISE RESPONSE

When the average of a company's employees is 29, you would expect them to get excited about a company car or company-leased accommodation under a flexi benefits scheme. But not at Wipro. At the software major, it is the retirement plan that has become the priority option.

First to introduce

The first private sector employer to introduce the National Pension Scheme, in July 2011, says it is overwhelmed by the employee response to enrol for the scheme.

Mr Samir Gadgil, General Manager, Talent Development and Engagement at Wipro Technologies, says that a ‘substantial number out of the over 100,000 employees' in India has opted for the scheme in eight months since its implementation.

Wipro introduced the NPS benefit under the Wipro Benefits Plan (WBP) in July 2011. “With the average age of employees at 29, we are quite surprised at the response,” he said, adding that the response was contrary to the expectation that the psyche of the new generation is to ‘spend and not save' for retirement.

WBP allows employees to ‘pick and choose' from a bouquet of tax-saving options and the choice is usually driven by personal needs and preferences. “So an employee may decide to give up these benefits for additional cash or forego a part of the pre-tax salary to utilise the benefits defined under the scheme,” he said.

At a broad level, around 20 per cent of a Wipro employee's salary falls under WBP and components such as meal vouchers, company car, NPS and company-leased accommodation are available under the scheme.

Awareness drive

Along with NPS, Wipro also offers a Voluntary Superannuation Scheme that employees can utilise at early stage of their careers, he said.

Wipro is also conducting a Wipro Benefits Fest across all its campuses to raise awareness among the employees on various initiatives, schemes and benefits available under the Wipro Benefits Plan.

anjali@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 18, 2012)
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