Unique Benchmark Study on Income Protection

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Benchmark Study on Income Protection

Insight into the Income Protection plan landscape in Belgium

The Benchmark Study event on Income Protection Insurance, held at our AG Campus on May 27, featured captivating speakers and valuable insights into the income protection plan landscape. Read on for the highlights of this successful afternoon.

The Benchmark Study on Income Protection insurance was carried out using data from 270,689 active participants in corporate-sponsored group plans from 3,790 companies across 18 different sectors. All of the figures, explanations and conclusions have been consolidated in a single white paper, which you can request here.

Encouraging policy measures on getting employees back to work

Saskia Decuman, Expert in return-to-work assistance at the INAMI/RIZIV, made a stand for a transversal approach to the persistent problem of long-term sick leave. She stressed the importance of basing policies on short-term research, speedy implementation and scientific assessments "fresh from the field". She also pointed out the need for specific integrated data to take effective action on getting people back to work.

"Fortunately, there are encouraging developments," added Saskia Decuman. "Return-to-work assistance programmes (RTW programmes) that offer support and guidance for people on sick leave who want to go back to active duty but at less than 100% of their capacities has sparked an interest in returning to work on a part-time basis. We're still waiting to see the effects of more recent policy measures, such as the return-to-work premium. This premium should motivate employers to let people on long-term sick leave come back to work under certain conditions. There's also the Return-to-work Fund (RTW Fund) and its voucher scheme, where people whose employment contract has been terminated due to medical force majeure are entitled to a voucher of up to €1,800. The employer has 45 days to report the termination and pays a contribution to finance the voucher. Non-compliance results in a fine and/or administrative penalties."

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Benchmark Study on Income Protection

Income Protection insurance: the most underestimated coverage in Employee Benefits

An employee is more likely to get sick than end up in the hospital or die. Yet the penetration rate for Income Protection insurance is only 18%, with big variations across the different sectors.

This was one of the findings from the Benchmark Study on Income Protection insurance carried out by market leader AG. An Decock and Patrick Mackowiak presented the most striking findings from the Study.

  • 2 out of 3 people overestimate the replacement income payable by the INAMI/RIZIV in Year One of incapacity leave, especially those with a salary above the INAMI/RIZIV cap.

  • Once they become aware of the financial strain they'll experience while on long-term sick leave, many worry that they won't be able to maintain their current standard of living, and 90% would greatly appreciate it if their employer provided them with Income Protection coverage.

  • The size of a company, the sector it belongs to and the salary are the main factors that influence the likelihood of having Income Protection coverage and the selected variables.

  • Depending on the sector, it's surprising to see that some employees have Death Benefit coverage but no Waiver of Premiums coverage.

Case study: the role of an Income Protection plan in the integrated approach to long-term absenteeism

Laure Maes, Human Resources Manager at Afton Chemical, explained how important it is for continuity and efficiency at a chemicals company like Afton Chemical to keep the rate of long-term sick leave cases as low as possible. The American multinational has a headcount of roughly 2,000 employees worldwide, including 200 in Belgium. The company was one of the first to provide both white-collar and blue-collar workers with an attractive employee benefits package. Back in the day, the package included a step-rate Income Protection plan with a 30-day waiting period and Waiver of Premiums coverage, and still does today. Laure Maes: "Income Protection insurance is an added sweetener that fulfils a real employee need, especially at key moments such as taking out a loan or starting a family."

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Benchmark Study on Income Protection

Where do you stand compared to your peers?

The Benchmark Study not only revealed major differences between the 18 analysed sectors but also big variations within each sector. How does your Income Protection plan measure up against your peers? Is the protection it offers extensive or rather limited?

Make an appointment today to review your sector-wide report.
Your trusted contact person or sales representative will be happy to go over the figures and findings for your sector with you. Want to make sure you stand out on the job market? We'll work with you to come up with the right solution along with holistic support for your wellbeing policy.