What's changed in the world of health and protection? Not enough, says Anne Drugnick:
Most of us know that the only constant we can count on is change.
Having been widowed some years ago, I stepped back from my work in employee benefits to heal and to explore other options.
Dogs were where I directed my energy. So much so that I became a qualified dog walker (yes, it is a thing!) and established a successful day care centre for canines.
After a very fulfilling four years, I realised I was missing my former colleagues and contacts and I’m delighted to be back.
One thought dogged me (sorry) ahead of re-joining: would so much have changed in the world of health and protection benefits during my break that I would be all at sea?
To my growing astonishment, it was clear very little had. In fact, whilst Punter Southall Aspire had moved ahead of the times (in keeping with our guiding principle: Next Generation Thinking) the digital revolution seemed to have passed the wider health and protection industry by.
Which is why Aspire Benefits Manager, our streamlined and secure platform, is so welcome. It will help HR directors and employees to tailor what they both need. It’s free for companies to license the online platform in a way that’s simple to use. For employees, Aspire Benefits Manager provides a straightforward, simple way to access information on their employee benefits, when and where they want. Furthermore, staff pay for any extra benefits through salary deduction.
And while this is a 21st century basis for employee benefits, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the phone to talk to us about specialised areas.
For example, insurance for the people who lead your business can add significant cost to the overall premium.
One organisation I worked with saw the premium of £50,000 to cover the entire workforce potentially rising by another £10,000 for just such an executive. Nor, under the terms of the Equality Act, can a company refuse to pay for the policy as cost is not a reason to do so.
Solution: be very cautious about sending employees for underwriting as a special case.
Better solution: stop linking life cover to salary and offer fixed sums which won’t need medical approval. Give all the top tier of earners, say £1,000,000, of cover – this usually means that medical evidence can be avoided, it’s very easy to insure in the market and straightforward to communicate to employees. It also makes data gathering for renewal much easier as salaries are not needed - I could go on.
Even better solution: stop linking life cover to salary and put the life cover for the whole workforce, whether you earn £20k or £300k, into a non-Registered Excepted Trust...but that’s a debate for another day…
We’re transforming the way people can manage their benefits at work by drawing on our decades of know-how about an industry that remains complex.
What hasn’t changed is offering our expertise to help business navigate what can be an unfamiliar landscape with confidence and a new degree of certainty.
Be that your employee benefits package or the lockdown-expanded area of buying, or caring for, a dog: I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have!