Aegon lobbies for action on workplace protection

Aegon lobbies for action on workplace protection

Product provider Aegon has urged the government to initiate a programme that would encourage individuals to take out protection policies as a financial safety net.

Nearly half of working women in the UK do not have any form of protection policy in place, and most that do have protection do not receive it through their employer, according to Aegon’s Protection Matters report.

The company drew a parallel with the government's auto-enrolment for pensions initiative, but highlighted no such scheme exits for putting working individuals into a protection plan.

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Stephen Crosbie, protection director at Aegon UK, said that the government could use a similar scheme it has used with pensions to close the protection gap.

“Government initiatives such as auto-enrolment have successfully started to close the pensions gap in the UK, but currently there’s little being done to address the protection gap, which emphasises the importance of women taking responsibility for their own protection needs by seeking advice and getting a protection policy to suit their needs.”

Protection is an increasingly important factor to women when looking for a job, as nearly half of women had asked their current employer about its provision as a workplace benefit and nearly a third said it was a key decision-making factor.

The report said that most women did not receive a protection plan through their employer, owing to the employer’s breadth of pension responsibilities, and so turn to a financial adviser instead.

“The number of employers automatically providing this safety net is surprisingly low and it is therefore vital that women across the country double check with their employers about protection insurance in the workplace and if there is no provision, take it into their own hands,” Mr Crosbie said.