Katharine Moxham: New opportunities for the group risk market

Auto-enrolment, the response to the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Health at work – An independent review of sickness absence, published in November 2011, the Treasury’s Sergeant Review of Simple Financial Products, published in July 2012, and the introduction of universal credit will give the group risk market unprecedented opportunities in 2013 as employers reconsider provision for their workforce.

Employers will be reviewing their overall benefits package as they prepare for auto-enrolment. The Group Risk Development 2012 employer research, published in December 2012, indicates that many (over 50%) will consider introducing group risk benefits, too. 

The overdue response to the DWP’s sickness absence review will give the group risk industry the chance to strengthen its case to government for the place of group income protection in improving the working population’s financial resilience.

The need for employees to take greater personal responsibility for financial protection continues to grow. Employers could play a pivotal role in facilitating the distribution of protection products, as the Simple financial products review and universal credit come into play. The group risk market has a crucial role in supporting this, as well as supporting employers which acknowledge the importance of employees achieving financial resilience prior to retirement.

Katharine Moxham is spokesperson at Group Risk Development (Grid)