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Norwich Union covers up

Norwich Union has designed a cafeteria-style protection plan aimed at employers who have a Norwich Union pension plan in place for their employees.

Business benefits@Norwich Union has four elements — group income protection, group life cover, group private medical insurance and accident sickness and unemployment cover. They use the same online administration system as Norwich Union&#39s pensions and employers can choose one or all of the options at any time.

The private medical insurance element of the package covers hospital charges, specialists fees, the cost of diagnosis, radiotherapy and chemotherapy for day patients, in-patients and out-patients. Physiotherapy, chiropody and osteopathy are covered on an out-patient basis. A range of cash benefits is also included.

The income protection element offers a maximum benefit of 30 per cent of salary a year and a choice of deferred periods from 13, 26, 52 or 104 weeks. The accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) element is designed to protect pension contributions if employees are unable to work, but employees must pay for this themselves. The group life cover aims to provide a lump sum on death or on diagnosis of a terminal illness.

Cafeteria-style benefits are all the rage at the moment as the one per cent charge of stakeholder pensions and many group personal pensions make it too expensive to offer life cover and waiver of premium options to protect pension contributions.

Scottish Equitable and Legal & General have similar products, but they offer different benefits, such as critical illness cover and ASU mortgage protection.

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