Lloyds TSB is to increase the maximum age at which staff can obtain products offered through its flexible benefits scheme to ensure it complies with age discrimination legislation. Many products offered, including private medical insurance (PMI), health screening, life assurance and critical illness cover, currently have a cut-off age of 65 years. The company has agreed a new age limit of 75 years for all such benefits with its insurers, apart from critical illness, which has only increased to 70 years.
Liz Yates, manager compensation and benefits, said: "Any products that have an eligibility criteria we have removed where we could and with insurance products, we have increased [the maximum age]." She added its providers, which include National Dental Plan and Crispin Speers, all agreed to increase the eligibility criteria. However, Scottish Widows, which is part of the Lloyds TSB Group, is the provider for its critical illness cover and life assurance, while its PMI benefits are run through a trust.
Additional costs were a factor in the company’s decision to only raise critical illness cover to 70 years. "[The insurers] said they would take [critical illness cover up to 75 years] but it was so expensive we didn’t think anyone would want to take it and we don’t have anyone aged over 70 working for us at the moment," said Yates. Staff will make their next flex elections in October for 2007. Lloyds TSB also raised its retirement age from 60 to 65 years at the end of July. Yates added: "If we do want to start encouraging older people to work for Lloyds TSB, we want to be able to offer them a benefits package that is equal to everyone else." She expects more older staff to join as the population ages.