Press release 5 December 2018.
The world of employee benefits is changing - competition for client retention, proving value and demonstrating return on investment has never been tougher. If they’re not already doing it, now is the perfect time for advisers to talk about Group Risk protection benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness benefits), says GRiD, and highlights the key reasons why.
- Every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it under auto-enrolment. This means millions of employees are receiving an employee benefit for the very first time so this is an opportunity for advisers to consult with employers about broadening their offering to include more than just pension.
Good-cost effective options
- There are simple, cost effective options particularly for those employers who have never offered Group Risk protection benefits before and are not encumbered by complex legacy contractual arrangements. It can be very quick and easy for employers to implement Group Risk products, thus providing value for advisers and their clients alike.
Good for employers
- Employers are looking for advice and guidance on all their employee benefits. Advisers may specialise in certain areas but clients don’t work in silos. There is a crossover between Group Risk and other employee benefits. This can include financial pay-outs for ill-health that can mean accrual for retirement provision continues; prevention, rehabilitation and absence management that work in conjunction with healthcare; facilitation for returns to work that sit alongside occupational health; services that complement an employer’s health & wellbeing programme. Group Risk is an integral part of the whole benefits package and has touchpoints with other benefits. Employers want guidance on all, so the more areas an adviser can assist with, the more it will help them retain clients and help them protect their own business
- There is already a natural link for pension consultants to advise on Group Risk given the impact of the Lifetime Allowance and the care required around maintaining the status quo of a high earner’s pension tax position. Employers are looking for advice on how to mitigate that risk. This provides the perfect opportunity for advisers to talk about other Group Risk products. If they can’t, not only are they missing an opportunity, they’re letting their clients down.
- Similarly, there is a natural link with health & wellbeing, given the focus of much of the extra services that can come along with a Group Risk product (particularly Group Income Protection), so Healthcare advisers who can cross over the silo boundary into Group Risk can help their clients to develop a more cohesive approach and thus gain better value from their purchases.
- The Group Risk market has been growing over recent years, which means that more employers are seeing the value of these benefits. Introducing a basic level of Group Risk protection for staff can help an employer remain competitive in terms of benchmarking against the benefits offered by their competitors.
- Group Life in particular is a low-cost but highly valued benefit, which can often be provided without medical underwriting for staff of any sized employer. This enables employers to provide a valuable employee benefit which can include all staff regardless of demographic and medical history.
- Likewise, if employers want gilt-edged benefits for senior staff then Group Risk can fit the bill. Group policies can be much more cost effective and provide better benefits than providing policies for each individual, which some smaller employers still do.
Good for engagement
- One challenge that pensions advisers have is getting engagement about an event (retirement) that will happen in the future, Group Risk protection is about events that can happen at any time, and it’s about protecting today’s financial position. This arguably makes engagement easier. There are many opportunities to talk about the relevance of Group Risk, including key life events, change of domestic circumstances and annual salary review. At any time staff can face a change in their circumstances where Group Risk protection will add an important benefit that they might find harder to get elsewhere.
- Being responsible for an employer’s Group Risk provides multiple opportunities for touch points with a client. This might be helping to manage claims, or helping employers during difficult times when Group Risk can offer support for staff or a business. The regularity of communication helps to build solid relationships. This provides multiple opportunities to add value which facilitates client retention.
The value of being able to advise on Group Risk benefits in conjunction with other employee benefits is backed up by advisers Kerr Henderson. John Kerr, Director of Group Risk and Corporate Healthcare for Kerr Henderson says: ‘Our advisers are qualified to talk about employee benefits holistically, and that is a big advantage for our clients, which of course is also advantageous for our own business. There’s so much opportunity to develop this market by talking to clients about Group Risk benefits given that, for example, only around 10% of the working population has any income protection in place.”
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD says: ‘No other benefits provide a financial lifeline when it is most needed; during catastrophic times in an employee’s life. Employers that look after their staff in such a way are the ones that have greater employee engagement, better absence-management and higher productivity. Conversely, it doesn’t go unnoticed by employees if a colleague hasn’t been looked after by their employer. Demotivation, poor morale and high staff turnover is the price that employers pay when they don’t offer such paternalistic benefits.
“Group Risk benefits help to protect employees throughout their working lives; helping them stay in and fit for work as they save towards the expectation of a healthy retirement. Everyone expects to reach retirement but not everyone anticipates getting ill along the way (or worse, dying before they get to retirement). Group Risk benefits take some of the uncertainty away in terms of the financial impact of illness, accident, death or disability and give access to support that can help people both improve their lives and reach their retirement goals.
“It not only makes good business sense for advisers to talk about Group Risk, the benefit to their clients is also clear.”
*Fear of missing out
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For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk protection sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries who have a collective wealth of experience built over years of operating in the group risk protection market. Under the chairmanship of Steve Bridger (MD Group Protection, Corporate, Aviva UK Life), GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham