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MADISON, Wis. -Credit unions looking to lower employee turnover may want to consider offering group life insurance. “Group Life Insurance should be a staple part of a comprehensive employee benefits package,” said CUNA Mutual Employee Benefits Vice President Robert Stubbe. “A solid Group Life plan can improve a credit union’s employee retention and unlike group medical insurance, it is economical and can be provided for literally pennies on the dollar.” To ensure credit unions make the most of Group Life, CUNA Mutual Group has recently revamped its group life plan adding several benefits to its basic and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) riders. Some of the key enhancements include a new accelerated death benefit that provides terminally ill employees with access to 50% of the death benefit, up to $250,000, before death occurs and a more generous age-related coverage reduction schedule. Stubbe says the provision can be extremely helpful to a family dealing with extraordinarily high medical bills that often accompany a terminal illness. “Under the previous plan, the death benefit reduced to 25% of its original amount when an active, full-time employee turned age 70,” said Stubbe. “Now, proceeds reduce to only 65% at age 70, and 50% at age 75.” Improvements were also made to include an optional AD&D rider standard seat belt feature that pays additional benefits if employees or their family are killed in an auto accident while wearing seatbelts. In addition, the AD&D rider now features a standard education benefit for dependent children of insured employees killed in an accident. Qualified dependent students can receive up to $3,000 per academic year, for up to four years, if they are already enrolled in college or do so within one year of the insured’s death. Stubbe says the enhancements also carry over into the technological arena with improvements that allow credit unions and their employees 24-hour online access to Group Life Insurance certificates. According to Stubbe, to meet employees’ ever-changing needs credit unions should periodically review the life coverage they provide. He also suggests credit unions establish an amount based on a multiple of an employee’s salary so that it keeps up with inflation.

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