Disability Benefits for Your Employees

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Financial planners use disability insurance with their clients on a regular basis to help mitigate risks with their financial goals. Employees of financial planning firms should also have the opportunity to understand and use disability insurance  in their financial planning and savings.

A previous blog, “Developing or Changing Your Benefits Plan”,  talked about the importance of tying the benefits you offer your employees to match the culture and vision of your practice.

A recent Sun Life Financial Survey of over 2000 US workers suggests that a significant proportion of American workers do not understand the likelihood of having a disability and the resulting potential financial consequences.

Offering disability insurance as a benefit for employees should be a “natural” for financial planning firm employers.   There are several options to investigate, even if your firm has only one employee.

Communication and Education is a first step:

  • The study by Sun Life shows that many people are not aware of the financial impact of a disability, and that planning firms should be educating their employees on the benefits of the appropriate amount of disability insurance – dependent upon the employee’s situation.

Locating Disability Plans:

  • Some states, such as California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, already have a state-mandated temporary disability insurance program in place.  These programs are typically funded through payroll deductions from employees and/or contributions from employers.   Check to see if your state offers such a program.
  • Consulting a group benefits provider is an excellent way to find out what disability programs are available.
  • AFLAC, among other companies, offer supplemental policies for employees to participate in at their own expense.
  • If you are member of an association, organization, society or other group, you may have access to group benefits.   The Financial Planning Association offers members the opportunity to apply and pay for disability insurance – subject to meeting certain conditions and an application process.  You may be able to offer employees the benefit of membership in one of these associations, organizations or societies.   You can also choose offer to contribute towards the cost of the premiums.

Whatever is decided, make sure you have a written plan in place (signed by the employer and employee) specifying what  is covered and how the additional premium funds may be used.

This is just an overview.  This article is for informative purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.  You need to consult your experts, such as insurance broker/ provider, human resource consultant, attorney, to be aware of federal, local and state regulations and exceptions.

Mary Dunlap, CFP®
Mary Dunlap Consulting
mary.mdunlapconsult@verizon.net
Pottstown, Pa.

6 thoughts on “Disability Benefits for Your Employees

  1. Can you think of another way to mitigate high cost of health care or disability benefits in the future? What do you think, Mary?

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  2. Thank you Cimarron Consulting for your question, I want to think on this and get back to you through this site.

    Mary Dunlap
    Mary Dunlap Consulting

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  3. Thanks Mary. Would be very glad to hear much from you on this one. I will be expecting for your message or perhaps a post.

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  4. Hello Cimarron Consulting;

    I am not a specialist in group benefits and could not comment specifically on what measures could be implemented within group insurance policies.

    One of my associates, Debi Girvin of Lochlyn Company (www.lochlyncompany.com) writes:

    “One of the ways to mitigate the high cost of healthcare and disability is through a value based approach. Such an approach uses preventative care, routine care, nutrition and weight management counseling and smoking cessation for value based benefit design. You can read more about this through the NBCH – National Business Coalition on Health. Their website is http://www.NBCH.org/VBBD-introduction. Their site is very good at outlining such an approach.”

    Please feel free to contact Debi through her website: http://www.lochlyncompany.com.

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  5. Thanks for the Reply. Send my regards to Debi. Will surely contact her.

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  6. Pingback: 5 Ideas for Creating a Robust Employee Benefits Plan « FPA Practice Management Center Blog

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