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Reform bill will shake up benefits

Canada Life is urging employers to offer group income protection as an employee benefit in light of the Government’s welfare reform bill, which is due to be introduced this month.

The company says that the reform will replace the existing incapacity benefit with employment support allow-ance, which could result in many people receiving lower benefits.

Group legislation manager Howard Rayner says the welfare reform bill, which is aimed at getting more people back into work, will bring a shake-up for people who rely on benefits. He says people who are severely disabled following a workplace injury will be eligible for higher benefits as they cannot undertake any form of work. However, those who are deemed to be still able to work will have their benefits reduced if they do not show a willingness to engage in the work-related activities that their disability allows.

Rayner says: “Now is an opportune time for employers to review their scheme benefits before the reform and to seriously consider introducing group income protection to their benefits package. With fewer people eligible for incapacity benefits, group income protection is set to become much more valuable for employees.

“It is also very important that intermediaries take this opportunity to give their clients advance warning that the reform is due to come into place and to inform them of the proposed changes.”

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Guide: how to change your auto-enrolment support

As we approach the two-year milestone of auto-enrolment, employers have had the opportunity to truly assess the capabilities of their chosen support. They are also now realising that getting to the staging date was the easy part, and that support is required for almost every aspect of the day to day running of their scheme. With the three-year re-enrolment window coinciding for many with the total removal of commission and Active Member Discounts from pension-related products and services, as well as the introduction of the pension charge cap in April 2015, many employers will have no choice but to review their support options. But, what is involved in transitioning your auto-enrolment scheme away from your current support options? This guide from Johnson Fleming aims to outline some of these key areas and provide information and discussion points on what you need to consider.

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