Updated: November 20, 2019

Group Life Insurance

Does your company need Group Life Insurance? Read our in-depth guide to find out where to look for the best deal

Get Started
Ask A Quick Question

Ask a quick question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in life insurance. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

FCA Logo
1 of 2
2 of 2 Send!

No impact on your credit score

Richard Angliss

Author: Richard Angliss - Finance Expert

Updated: November 20, 2019

A group life insurance policy is an extremely popular benefit usually offered by employers, providing peace of mind for employees and their loved ones. But exactly how do these plans work and what do they cover?

This article takes a closer look at group life cover to provide all the information you need and how you can find the best policy that suits yours and your employee’s circumstances.

If you’d like to discuss the benefits of group life insurance in more detail, give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry so we can arrange for an expert to get in touch.

They’re fully qualified to advise you on policies of this nature, and speaking to them won’t cost you a penny.

Definition: What is a group life insurance policy?

Group life insurance is a fixed-term life insurance plan that, as the name implies, covers a group of people rather than just one.

It is generally used by an employer to provide death-in-service benefits for their staff. Normally, the premiums for group life cover are paid in full by the employer.

In the event of an employee’s death during active service, a lump sum payment will be made to the employees family or nominated beneficiary.

The benefit amount is generally agreed by the employer, as the owner of the policy, and is often taken as a multiple of an employee’s income (usually between two and four times their annual salary).

So, for example, if an employee earns £40,000 per annum and their employer offers a group life insurance scheme equivalent to three times annual salary, in the event of the employee’s death, their next of kin will receive a lump sum payment of £120,000.

What does group life insurance cover?

Group life insurance provides cover in the event of a scheme members death during the term of a policy. For employer-run schemes, the term of a plan usually runs until an employee’s normal retirement age.

If an employee leaves active service then their membership of the scheme will end and the cover will cease.

What is the key benefit of having group life insurance coverage?

The main benefits of having group life cover for an employer would be:

  • Attractive benefit package for recruitment and retention of key members of staff
  • Premiums usually qualify as an allowable business expense for tax purposes

The benefits for an employee would be:

  • Peace of mind for you and your family
  • Benefits remain outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes
  • Most policies offer the option of either a lump sum or dependents pension, if preferred

Speak to an expert today

Get Started

How are the lump sum benefits of group life insurance treated for tax purposes?

In the main, the lump sum benefits from a group life insurance scheme are paid free of income and capital gains tax. Also, as they are typically written under the terms of a discretionary trust, the proceeds remain outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes.

However, as most group life insurance policies are linked to company pension schemes, lump-sum benefits can count towards your overall lifetime allowance (currently £1,055,000 for 2019/20). Any pension benefits which exceed this amount are subject to a 55% tax levy.

What different types of group life insurance are available?

Group life cover is generally available on a fixed-term basis, rather than whole life insurance, on the expectation that an employee will leave the employer’s service at some stage, either voluntarily or when they reach retirement.

The benefits and features of group life insurance will vary slightly depending upon the provider.

Some of these features include:

Free cover limit – No medical questionnaires are required up to a particular limit

Bereavement support – Offered to family members upon the death of a scheme member

Spouse and partner cover – Members can extend cover to include their life partners

Overseas employees – Covers scheme members who are based in a country outside the UK

If you’d like to speak to an expert about the different features available within various group life insurance schemes, give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and we will arrange for an advisor we work with to get in touch.

How do I find the best group life cover providers?

Finding the best group life insurance provider can be a difficult task as each insurer will offer different premium rates, depending on their own internal criteria and actuarial analysis.

Other factors such as the type of industry your business operates in can also influence who may be able to offer the best type of cover for your needs.

This is where we can help. The advisors we work with already have a full understanding of this form of life cover and would be able to help identify the best provider to suit your particular circumstances.

If you get in touch we can arrange for an expert to contact you and discuss your requirements in more detail.

Can a small business have a group life insurance plan?

Yes, it’s certainly possible. Typically, a minimum number of five members are required for a group life insurance scheme, therefore, if your business employs more than five people you should be able to set up a policy.

If you employ less than this number, don’t worry! You can still consider setting up individual life policies for each of your employees on a case by case basis.

Give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and we can ask for a life insurance expert to speak with you and help you decide what type of life cover best suits your needs.

What is unapproved group life cover?

Unapproved group life policies were introduced in 1989 following the introduction of earnings caps in relation to overall company pension contributions.

These types of policies became obsolete and were replaced in 2006 by excepted group life plans (EGLPs) which are a special type of group life insurance scheme generally used for high-earning employees as they can provide benefits above the lifetime allowance without incurring any tax charge.

If you’d like to know more about EGLPs get in touch and we can arrange for an expert to provide further information.

Speak to a group life insurance expert

Providing your employees with life cover through a group life insurance scheme is an excellent way to show a real duty of care as an employer. The advisors we work with can help you find a plan that best suits all of your requirements.

All advice is free and you’re under no obligation to make a purchase. Give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry to get started.

Ask a quick question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in life insurance. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

FCA Logo
1 of 2
2 of 2 Send!
Richard Angliss

Richard Angliss

Finance Expert

About the author

Richard Angliss has made a career in financial services which stretches over 40 years.

His early career was spent learning about the various financial products and applying them to prudent advice, working for one of the largest life assurance and investment firms. After that he joined the financial services arm of a very well-known firm providing independent advice to their 8 million customers.

For the last 20 years he has been involved in building software solutions that help Advisers and clients work together to achieve good financial outcomes and helping to set up three independent advisory firms. He also has written many articles for financial services publications and provided commentary for newspaper journalists.

At an early stage in his career he realised the great satisfaction that comes with being able to help people achieve their goals and protect their families. “Regulation of financial services has hugely impacted on ensuring people get appropriate advice. The issue these days is access to that advice and just as importantly regular reviews to make sure that everything stays on track”.

With the growing development of online resources such as Online Money Advisor he sees a great future for people to access advice to make their pension and investment work harder for them.  Plus, of course, to ensure they have insurance products in place that will be required when unforeseen events happen.

He knows getting that balance right is crucial to prudent financial planning and the wellbeing of individuals and their families.

FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

Get Started