Employers think age legislation makes risk benefits less sustainable

More half of employers believe that the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations Act 2006 makes the provision of risk benefits less sustainable in the future.

Over 50% believe benefits such as employee life cover; income protection and private medical insurance are less sustainable in the future because of the age discrimination legislation, according to Watson Wyatt’s 2007 Risk benefits survey.

Rick Wilkinson, a healthcare and risk consultant at Watson Wyatt, said: “Employers are genuinely concerned about the threat of increased insurance costs and the risk of litigation. The age discrimination legislation forced many employers to reconsider the design of their risk benefit programmes and, where significant amendments have been made, we have seen premium increases imposed on the incumbent insurer.”

As a result of the legislation, many employers have moved to mirror benefit termination ages with the current default retirement age of 65 years.