Law Firm Acts As Independent Trustee On Scheme
MetLife UK has enhanced its group life master trust proposition with the addition of an excepted group life master trust for smaller organisations.
Designed to increase flexibility, MetLife’s new scheme aims to support SMEs which don’t currently offer life cover to staff because of concerns about the potential administrative burden of running a scheme.
MetLife UK launched registered master trusts in 2013. Its master trusts are free to use for employers, employees and advisers. The legal responsibility, decision-making and reporting for tax to HMRC is handled by the independent trustee, Irwin Mitchell Trustees Limited.
According to MetLife research, only 23% of companies employing between 50 and 299 staff offer life insurance, but 53% plan to expand the benefits they offer over the next two years.
Fifty one percent 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.
Claire Lusted, head of propositions at MetLife UK, said: “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. 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.