A truer picture of employee benefits

ED STUART-BROWN, HEAD OF PROTECTION SALES, FRIENDS PROVIDENT

One of the most common reasons clients give for not needing income protection cover is that they get benefits via their work. So does this stack up or is it just a way of avoiding the issue?

Some 11 million individuals believe they have sick pay entitlement through their work but the reality is shockingly different, with only 1.8 million getting some form of benefit.

It is clear that there is a misconception about the level of support employers provide. And of those 1.8 million who do get some cover – is it sufficient?

Advisers sometimes struggle to get the information needed to complete a thorough review of their clients’ needs and CWC Research’s Income Protection Task Force has now recommended the development of an annual statement of benefits. I would welcome this but would also like it to show the shortfall against current income as well as what the state would provide.

Some providers have developed employee benefit forms which workers can give to their employers to find out their benefit entitlements. These provide a good way for advisers to review clients’ circumstances.

This subject is important in light of the increased likelihood of benefits packages being cut due to the recession and political moves that ensure fewer consumers will be eligible for Incapacity Benefit.

So if your client thinks they have benefits through their work a simple form can now provide the hard facts to help you show them the truth.