One in three employees won't pay for IP

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The vast majority of consumers are only prepared to pay less than £5 per week for income protection (IP) with almost a third not willing to pay anything, new research has revealed.

It found that a third of employees are not offered any benefit by their employer either funded or self-funded, with protection and health products lagging well behind pensions where they are.

Results from the ABI's latest consumer survey focused on the benefits offered to staff by businesses and showed that a pension was the most commonly offered (59%) followed by death in service (36%).

Perhaps worryingly, more people (34%) had nothing available to them than those receiving any of the other benefits.

A fifth (22%) were able to use an employee assistance programme (EAP), 17% had access to private medical insurance (PMI) while less than one in ten had IP, critical illness, dental cover (all 8% each) or a cash plan (6%).

When asked how much they would pay for IP through their employer, almost a third (29%) would not pay anything with just 14% prepared to pay more than £5 per week.

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The most popular price range was up to £5 per week (23%) followed by up to £3 (19%) then up to £1 (16%).

This was perhaps triggered by 82% of respondents saying they had never been off work for three months or more.

But it also highlighted that many consumers were unaware or had potentially unrealistic expectations of what support bosses would provide.

Two fifths (43%) believed their employer would continue to pay them in full or in part if they were off sick for at least six months.

And a similar number (40%) felt they could be off for longer than three months without their job being at risk.

Of those who had been off work for more than three months, just 9% had had private healthcare funded by their employer, with three quarters (77%) being treated by the NHS.

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