As the job market continues to improve, Vanessa Sallows, benefits and governance director for corporate business at Legal & General, says your corporate clients should consider other products to differentiate their benefits package and make it more competitive.
Ms Sallows says auto enrolment also increases employee awareness of the need to plan and protect their income in retirement.
Group income protection complements auto-enrolment as it can help employees protect their income before and after retirement, she adds.
It is important not just to offer group income protection to staff, but to communicate the benefits of this product to them effectively, says John Letizia, head of public affairs at Unum.
Research commissioned by Unum has found that failing to tell staff about benefits on offer, such as group income protection, is costing UK companies £2.7bn every year through increased staff turnover and sickness absence.
Mr Letizia says: “Employers should let staff know throughout their time with an organisation that they have group income protection, and explain the benefits of having it, and not just when they first join.”
In practice, Mr Letizia says there are a number of ways of letting employees know about group income protection – from new joiner packs and face-to-face sessions as part of the wider induction process, to drop-in clinics and the company intranet.
Mr Letizia says: “What is essential is that all managers are kept informed as to what is on offer and how to communicate it to the people they manage.”
As group income protection enables the employer to insure all, or part, of their ‘sick pay’ benefits promise, Nick Homer, group protection manager of Zurich UK Life, says it should form part of an employee’s benefits statement.
Plus, Mr Homer says the group income protection claims process can be communicated as part of routine HR procedures.
He adds it can also form part of an employer’s flexible benefits programme, where salary sacrifice may operate.
For example, Mr Homer says the employer funds a basic cover of perhaps 30 per cent of salary benefit payable for two years and the employee can opt (via salary sacrifice) up to 70 per cent of salary benefit payment to state pension age.