Prudential beefs up its flex offering

Prudential has re-introduced critical illness cover to its flexible benefits scheme two years after it was withdrawn due to difficulties finding a provider.

It was previously removed at the start of the insurer’s 2005 flex year after its provider Swiss Life was sold.

Helen Jackson, director of reward, policy and shared services, said: “We couldn’t then, despite trying hard, get the right level of cover. We had such problems getting anyone to even talk to us about it and then when we did get [a provider] to talk to us, we couldn’t agree with them in terms of things like price.”

Bupa will provide cover for this year’s plan, which comes into effect from January 2007 after an October election period.

Jackson added that critical illness was the fifth most popular benefit for 2007. “We had a lot of disappointment when [it] came out [of the plan]. We did try a year ago to put it back and again this year and I think things have [now] moved on in the provider market.”

The amount of holiday staff can buy has also increased to 33 days from 32 days and the firm is awaiting a decision on whether the flex scheme will be rolled out to staff in its internet banking arm Egg. Jackson concluded: “Our board will decide whether to harmonise with Egg. A decision is expected by [late 2006 or] early next year.”