Protecting your employees financially in the event of death, critical illness or long-term disability is the right thing to do. But getting your group risk benefits properly tailored can also protect and progress your organisation's objectives.

The current UK cost of living crisis has had a serious impact on an increasingly large number of people, with a lot of employees facing a bleak economic landscape. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available to employers who want to help their employees through these tough times.

One such option is group risk benefits, which can play a significant role in improving financial wellbeing, a vital component of overall employee wellbeing. Here we explore what group risk benefits are available, and detail the role employers play in deploying them successfully.

What are group risk benefits?

group risk benefits policy is aimed at providing financial protection to employees and their families in the event of death, disability, or illness. These benefits can therefore play a significant role in improving their overall financial wellbeing.

The most common group risk benefits are:

  • Group Life Assurance: This provides a lump sum benefit to the employee's beneficiaries in the event of their death.
  • Group Income Protection: This type of insurance provides income replacement to the employee in the event they are unable to work due to illness or injury.
  • Group Critical Illness: This aims to provide a lump sum to an individual should they survive a set period of time following diagnosis of one of several specified medical events. 
  • Private Medical Insurance (PMI): This type of insurance provides coverage for non-NHS medical treatment and expenses.

Associated value-added benefits

In addition to providing benefits, group risk insurers provide a range of associated value-added benefits that can help to improve employee financial wellbeing. These benefits can include:

  • Financial planning services: These services can help employees to create a budget, save for retirement, and make other financial decisions.
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs): These programs provide confidential counselling and support to employees on a variety of topics, including financial wellbeing.
  • Discounts on products and services: These discounts can help employees to save money on a wide range of products and services, such as home insurance, travel, health & wellbeing, and food & drink.

What are the advantages of group risk benefits?

When planned and delivered well, group risk benefits can prove just as beneficial to the organisation as to the employee.

  • Improved employee financial wellbeing: As mentioned, financial wellbeing is a critical component of overall employee wellbeing. By offering group risk benefits and promoting associated value-added benefits, employers can help to improve employee financial wellbeing, which can lead to several other benefits, such as increased productivity, engagement, and reduced stress.
  • Reduced employee turnover: Employees who are financially secure are less likely to leave their jobs. By offering group risk benefits, employers can help to reduce employee turnover, which can save an employer money in terms of recruitment and training costs.
  • Improved employer brand: Employers who are seen as being supportive of employee financial wellbeing are more likely to attract and retain top talent. By offering a good range of group risk benefits, employers can improve their employer brand to attract and retain the best employees.

Helping and protecting your employees

Engagement is key. Establishing group risk benefits is one challenge, but communicating with and inspiring your employees to help them get the most out of their group risk benefits is crucial.

  • Encourage your employees to read your employee benefits handbook, visit your intranet pages or flex site. The information you provide should clearly explain all the benefits you offer, including the terms and conditions as well as the value-added benefits available.
  • Encourage your employees to talk to you about their benefits. Let them know that they can talk to you if they have any questions or concerns, fostering a culture where no one is afraid to ask you for help.
  • Tracking benefits expenses. If you offer flexible or voluntary benefits, make it easy for employees to see and understand how much they are spending on their benefits each year. Consider an employee benefits platform with easy-to-use dashboards.
  • Encourage employees to review their benefits regularly. An individual’s financial requirements change over time, so it's important that they review them regularly to make sure they are getting the most out of them.

Impact of a good group risk policy

Group risk benefits and their associated value-added benefits can play a significant role in improving employee financial wellbeing. That, in turn, can help to make a significant impact on your organisation's financial objectives.

By offering group risk benefits that resonate with your specific workforce, you can improve employee productivity, engagement, and reduce turnover. It can also improve your employer brand, and attract and retain top talent.

Where to begin?

If you are exploring options on revising your existing group risk benefits or formulating an entirely new policy, our specialist team at Barnett Waddingham can help. Email Kevin O'Neill or call us on 020 7776 2281. For more immediate information on what we provide, visit our Group Risk Benefits service page.

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