More than two out of five 50 to 60-year-olds who are out of work blame disability or illness for their inability to find a job highlighting the need for products to help protect income, new research* from MetLife shows.
Its nationwide study found 43% of people aged between 50 and 60 currently out of work say illness or disability stops them finding a job compared with just 26% saying they are unemployed or currently unable to find a job.
The research, part of MetLife’s campaign to raise awareness among the 7.5 million people in the Critical Decade before retirement, found 20% of those born between 1951 and 1961 say they have a condition or disability which limits their daily activities.
Women are more likely than men to have conditions or disabilities that limit their lives – 25% of women say they have compared with 16% of men. However men who are out of work are more likely to have illnesses or disabilities preventing them from working. Around 52% of men who cannot work blame illnesses compared with 40% of women.
Not being able to work through illness or disability has a major impact on income and household assets – 50% of people in the 50-60-year-old age group with annual incomes of less than £10,000 are unable to work through illness or disability.
Stephanie Baillie, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK said: “Illness and disability has a massive impact on all aspects of life and particularly on the ability to work and save for retirement.
“With one in five in the 50 to 60-year-old age group saying they have conditions which impact on their daily lives it is clear that people need to consider protection products to help replace income if they are no longer able to work.
“Insurance cover that protects against life’s uncertainties is absolutely essential and valuable if it is part of a well-designed employee benefits package.”
MetLife has introduced a bereavement and probate service as part of its Group Life product as it continues the transformation of its fast-growing Employee Benefits business.
Additional product launches are planned in 2013 with MetLife also focusing on further developing customer service and distribution to enhance support for customers and intermediaries.
MetLife is one of the fastest-growing life and pensions groups in the UK and has its UK Employee Benefits division in Brighton**. Employing around 150 people, it is the UK hub for the sales and administration of its employee benefits and individual protection businesses.