Protection  

Employees unaware of workplace benefits: Friends Life

Almost one in seven UK employees are in the dark when it comes to pensions and insurance benefits available through their workplace, due to a lack of communication according to Friends Life.

Figures from a YouGov survey of 12,260 UK adults commissioned by the provider found that nearly 15 per cent of workers did not know what financial products their employer provided.

When expanded out across the UK workforce, this means more than 3.7m UK employees could either have paid for benefits they were unaware of, or are missing out on the chance to have protection insurance or a pension.

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However, the research did show that there is a desire to get financial products via the workplace. When respondents were asked which benefits people would consider taking out through their employer, pensions, life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection were among the most popular answers.

Anna Spender, head of the firm’s group protection proposition, stated that the problem is down to a lack of communication.

“Not only are workers potentially missing out on really valuable benefits, but employers aren’t getting the full value of the package they’re offering.

“Life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection can make employees feel valued by their company and can play an important part in any staff wellness programmes.

“But if employees don’t even know they’re available employers aren’t maximising the good will these benefits can create in staff.”

Friends Life’s survey showed that company contributions and subsidies were the most popular factor in encouraging them to buy a financial product via their employer, as getting a better deal than is available on the high street was a common consideration.

Ms Spender added: “Employers could be the answer to plugging at least part of the protection gap we have in this country.”

peter.walker@ft.com