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Standard wants protection cover for NPSS

Standard Life has suggested auto-enrolling people into a life insurance policy as they enter the NPSS to address the “criminal” lack of protection for many low-paid employees.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Manchester last week, chief executive Trevor Matthews said a similar scheme worked in Australia when pension compulsion was introduced, with a contribution added for protection cover.

Matthews said the protection industry in the UK was fiercely competitive, producing better value than anywhere else in the world, and there was no reason why such a scheme would not work here.

He said the Government and the industry need to come up with new ideas to tackle the low level of protection coverage, which he blames on the demise of the Man from the Pru-type direct salesforces.

Matthews defended his firm against Treasury select committee chairman John McFall, who attacked the amount of recycled money entering Standard Life’s self-invested personal pension after A-Day.

He said the industry had to take responsibility for its actions but in this case, the consumer was being offered new opportunities and flexibility and so the business should not be seen as traditional churning.

Matthews said: “It is absolutely criminal that there is not better protection coverage for lower-paid people in this country.”


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