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Jim Lentini: Disability benefits for those who work

Posted: January 18, 2010 10:24 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2010 4:55 a.m.
With the current economic pressures and both our state and federal government trying to increase taxes on businesses, employers are scrutinizing their benefit plans to make sure the company and its employees are receiving good value in relation to rising costs.
While many firms are scaling back on core benefit offerings and the government is attempting to tax benefits, many businesses are adding supplemental benefits to meet the varying needs of their employees.

One of the most popular work site benefits to emerge in recent years is the muti-life disability income insurance.

This plan bridges the gap between traditional group long-term disability and individual coverage. It is especially helpful for the higher-income staff and executives who need coverage above the basic limit of most group plans.

Supplemental coverage requires no medical underwriting and is available at discounted rates, similar to group offerings. It is also portable, which is a valuable feature to employees in a time of employment flux, such as now.

The popularity of this type of benefit will likely continue to rise given the current economic climate as income protection comes further into focus and employers look for flexible products that help them meet the diverse needs of their employees.

As an employee benefit, as noted above, multi-life can help to protect the income of top executives and provide a higher level of benefit than one could get through a company's standard group disability plan alone.

Employers interested in retaining top executive talent for the long term can sweeten their benefit packages with this type of coverage.

In a time of budget tightening, multi-life disability has also emerged as a prime offering on the voluntary menu, as it helps employers look for ways to be more creative with their employee benefits.

Even with cost sharing, it is a reasonable benefit for both employer and employee. Remember, your chances of becoming disabled before age 65 versus dying are four times greater.

Jim Lentini, CLU, ChFC, IAR is president of Lentini Insurance & Investments, Inc. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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