To reduce barriers to SME employers providing group life offerings to employees
MetLife UK has added an excepted group life master trust to its existing registered group life master trust to help small-to-medium enterprise (SME) employers provide death in service to employers.
The move is envisioned to reduce barriers to SMEs deterred from offering life cover to staff due to concerns over the potential administrative burden of running a scheme.
MetLife UK launched registered master trusts in 2013 and it now has more than 1500 employers participating in the scheme which is designed to provide life cover in a flexible format and reduce work for employers.
It ensures an independent trustee - Irwin Mitchell Trustees - handles the legal responsibility, decision-making and HMRC tax reporting on behalf of employers, employees and advisers.
According to MetLife research, around a quarter (23%) of companies employing between 50 and 299 staff offer life insurance but more than (53%) plan to expand the benefits they offer over the next two years.
More than half (51%) of SMEs which do not offer benefits beyond pensions say they cannot afford to provide them while 11% say they do not have the in-house expertise to provide benefits.
"Employers clearly want to expand the benefits they provide staff, and life cover is a crucial part of the market which we are focused on growing," said Claire Lusted, head of propositions, MetLife UK. "Making it easier for employers to offer cover will help more employees benefit.
"Excepted cover is increasing in popularity across the market partly because of reductions in the pension lifetime allowance, and adding it to our Master Trust proposition will enable us to support more employers and particularly help the SME market."
Any employer taking out a MetLife group life policy can use the master trust and there is no maximum limit to the number of employees that can be covered. As part of the enhancements, MetLife said the process for transferring existing MetLife group life policies into the trust has been streamlined.
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