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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

People are the most important asset of any business. Through the provision of meaningful benefits, Sentinel can help you demonstrate just how much you value your employees - keeping them happy, motivated and protected at work.

Sentinel advises on range of employee benefits - from Company Pension Schemes and Company Private Medical Insurance through to Group Death in Service Benefit, Group Life Cover, Group Critical Illness Insurance and Group Income Protection. Recognising that no two businesses are the same, we spend time getting to know you until we have a thorough understanding of your requirements. We can then advise you on the most cost-effective and tax-efficient solutions that are available and design a personalised package that meets your exact needs and parameters.

Employee Benefits that can be include in your package:

Group Death in Service Benefit

Group Death in Service Benefit pays a tax-free sum (typically two or three times the employee’s salary) to the individual’s family should they die whilst in the employment of the company. It is a popular employee benefit as it is typically less expensive than other protection insurance policies and has the advantage of a straightforward application process. Premiums are usually allowable as a business expense thereby reducing the net cost to the employer through Corporation Tax relief.

Group Critical Illness

Group Critical Illness insurance provides a cash lump sum to help employees deal with the financial effects of having a serious medical condition. If an employee suffers one of a range of medical events whilst in your employment, a tax free amount is provided to ease any financial burden on your employee’s family. Premiums paid by the employer are a trading expense and can be offset against Corporation Tax.

Group Income Protection

Group income protection provides continuing income to employees in the event they are unable to work as a result of illness or injury. It helps control the cost of absence and employers can support their employees during long-term absence. Monthly payments are typically made to the employer who then pays the insured until he (or she) returns to work or the plan end date is met. In most circumstances Group Income premiums count as a business expense and therefore qualify for Corporation Tax relief.

Group Private Medical Insurance

Group Private Medical Insurance is a popular element of most employee benefit packages. It is a highly valued benefit that not only helps attract and retain staff but creates a healthier, more productive workforce. Should an employee become ill, they will have fast access to high quality medical care which will enable them to return to work swiftly. Family members of employees can also be included in the policy and cover can be extended to include dental treatment. Group Private Medical Insurance is normally an allowable business expense for Corporation Tax purposes under current tax rules.

Group Personal Pensions

A Group Personal Pension (GPP) is a collection of personal pension plans that an employer provides for employees. Each included employee has their own plan that both they and their employer can contribute to. The contributions are invested by the pension provider in order to accumulate a sum of money that the employee can use when they retire. Different levels of contributions and features can be arranged for the pension plans of executives and senior employees. With Group Personal Pensions, the charges set out by the pension provider are usually lower than with individual plans because they are dealing with a group. Employees benefit from tax relief on their contributions and employers’ contributions are eligible for Corporation Tax relief.

Pension Auto-Enrolment

Auto Enrolment legislation was introduced by the UK Government in 2012. It is designed to encourage more people to save for their retirement. It requires all employers to automatically enrol some or all members of their workforce (depending on age and salary level) into a pension scheme that meets certain minimum standards. Employers are required by law to make contributions to this pension scheme, adding to the contributions made by their workers.

The new rules will have a significant impact on employers as well as employees. Businesses will have to establish a qualifying pension scheme if they do not already have one in place and any existing arrangements will have to be overhauled to comply with the new legislation. These include:

Employers automatically enrolling all workers who -

  • Are not already in a qualifying workplace pension scheme;
  • Are at least 22 years old;
  • Are below state pension age;
  • Earn more than £8,105 a year (2012/13); and
  • Work or ordinarily work in the UK (under their contract)

Employers automatically having to contribute to each worker’s pension -

  • The contribution will be a percentage of their salary
  • The percentage amount is dependent on a number of factors

Employers will have to offer this new or amended pension within a set deadline -

  • Businesses with a workforce of 20,000   - Auto Enrolment has already begun
  • Businesses with a workforce of 500 to 19,000 - By 2013
  • Businesses with a workforce of 59 to 499   - By 2014
  • Businesses with a workforce of 30 to 58   - By 2015
  • Businesses with a workforce of less that 30   - By 2015-18