Unum has launched Unum Select, which allows employers to choose from income protection, life insurance and critical illness cover, or a combination of all three. It will make cover accessible for more UK workers as the employer, the employees or a combination of both can fund it.
The proposed welfare reform agenda is likely to tighten the public benefits purse strings, expanding the protection gap that already leaves 90% of UK workers financially exposed should they become ill or are injured and unable to work.
Marco Forato at Unum says, “We are committed to finding ways to protect the majority of the UK workforce, rather than the minority. Part of that commitment is making cover more accessible, and importantly we also need to find ways to make the process of doing group risk business easier. Currently, only 1 in 10 private sector employees in the UK are covered by income protection provided by their employer. The government makes it very clear that it will be looking to individuals to become responsible for their own welfare and protection, and it is increasingly pushing financial protection responsibility towards employers as well as employees.”
Unum Select offers a new approach to financial protection. A combination of product and funding options, simple online administration, and a focus on employee benefits education, presents a powerful proposition to employers. Employers can choose from income protection, life insurance and critical illness cover. Designed for the wider employee population, it offers flexible affordable options, providing core essential cover tailored to individual needs. Employers can fully fund, part fund or ask employees to pay all premiums. This budget-conscious approach aims to open up the benefits to all employees, rather than being limited to high-earners, as is often typical in the UK.
A core element of Unum Select is the worksite education programme. This provides a tailored approach to communicating with staff about the benefits being made available to them. Methods may include a variety of approaches from group presentations, internet and telephone to one-to-one meetings with Unum Select enrollers, who can help employees explore their needs.
Framestore, the largest visual effects and computer animation studio in Europe, has become one of the first employers to sign up to the scheme, and is offering the scheme to its 500+ employees. Annabel Jones, at Framestore says, “We are committed to looking after our staff and have always prioritised offering a good benefits package. Unum Select has allowed us to broaden our staff’s benefits portfolio, offering income protection at a competitive rate. We hope that our employees will see the value of this voluntary scheme and sign up.”