Cash plans have become the most sought-after employee benefit, according to independent research.
The study, conducted by global research consultancy TNS on behalf of PMI Health Group, showed 35% of full-time staff said cash plans were in their top-three benefits.
Of those, cash plans were ranked as most valued by 11% behind contributory pensions (25 per cent), life insurance (15 per cent) and private medical insurance (12 per cent).
Mike Blake, director at PMI Health Group, said: "The emergence of cash plans as a preferred benefit is somewhat unexpected considering their low cost when compared to alternatives such as contributory pension schemes, life insurance or medical insurance.
"But the research proves they maintain a high perceived value among employees, making them an extremely viable option for businesses attempting to construct a competitive benefits package in the current climate."
He added the economic downturn had caused many companies to re-evaluate their offering and that combining PMI and pension schemes with cash plans helped provide greater value from an investment in benefits.
And the report showed staff earning less than reported average salary of £26,200 selected cash plans as a top-three benefit ahead of PMI.
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