MetLife UK has expanded its group life master trust with the addition of an excepted group life master trust.
It aims to support SME employers who are deterred from offering life cover to staff because of concerns about the potential administrative burden of running a scheme.
MetLife already has a registered master trust, which was launched in 2013 and has more than 1,500 participating employers.
Research from MetLife shows that only 23% of companies employing between 50 and 299 staff offer life insurance, but more than half (53%) plan to expand the benefits they offer over the next two years.
Half (51%) of SMEs which do not offer benefits beyond pensions say they cannot afford to provide them while 11% say they do not have the in-house expertise to provide benefits.
MetLife’s master trusts are free to use for employers, employees and advisers. The legal responsibility, decision-making and reporting for tax to HMRC is handled by the independent trustee, Irwin Mitchell Trustees Limited.
Clare Lusted, head of propositions for MetLife UK, said excepted cover is increasing in popularity across the market partly because of reductions in the pension lifetime allowance.
She added that the launch will enable the provider to support more employers and particularly help the SME market.
Any employer taking out a MetLife group life policy can use the master trust and there is no maximum limit to the number of employees that can be covered.