How to structure benefits to best fit your employee demographics
Healthcare and protection benefits are often perceived as being better suited to certain age demographics, rather than an entire workforce.
However, with state benefits being withdrawn and employees living and working longer, the reality is that insured benefits have never been more relevant to all staff.
Insurers offer modular protection and healthcare cover, which means that benefits can be designed to fit specific requirements. Additionally, a core level of cover can be provided, with the option to buy additional cover through flexible benefits, subject to minimum numbers being available.
Younger employees can be one of the most important age groups to insure. A large proportion of this group may have zero or limited savings; if their ability to earn was removed as a result of illness or injury, financial hardship would quickly follow.
Cover for younger employees is often available at low rates of premium. Extending the scope of existing policies to a wider audience can be a popular option, as this can often lead to lower costs per head.
For example, traditional group income protection cover often provided continued claim payment to 65-years old or state pension age. This cover can now be structured so that benefit payment is limited or paid directly to the employee, thus providing much greater flexibility and appeal.
A key consideration following benefit implementation is the communication strategy. Blanket communication aimed across all age groups can lead to confusion and it can be difficult for employees to see the relevance of the benefit when communications are issued in this way.
With up to five generations in the workplace, the communication method for millennials can and should be radically different from communications with others. Younger employees will expect communication direct to their mobile device while others might expect an email, desk drop or intranet publication.
Group protection benefits are relevant to all age groups and they may be even more pertinent to younger employees than they think or realise. The need for protection is an important but unfamiliar area to this demographic, who often think they are indestructible.
Forward-thinking employers will communicate the benefit offering and how this links to employee needs, with specific and segmented communication key for the younger generation.
When building a structured communication campaign, the use of the word ‘group risk’ may best be avoided as this can often be a confusing term for those outside the immediate insurance industry. It refers to death and health catastrophes, as well as hard-hitting messages to get the relevance across to engage younger employees.
By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.
This article was previously published on Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.