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New disability product from Unum offers flexibility, simplicity

Group voluntary plan design stabilizes benefit costs, allows for employee choice

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 1:30 pm EST



Public Company Information:

"If unexpectedly sidelined by illness or injury, many workers would face significant financial strain"

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new disability insurance offering from Unum (NYSE: UNM) simplifies benefits decision-making, while allowing employees to easily choose the financial protection and price that’s right for them.

“Only about a third of workers today have access to disability benefits at work, yet almost all employees want this coverage available,” said Kathy Plummer, director of disability product development. “The newest addition to our disability product portfolio will help employers bridge this gap.”

Unum’s newest plan designs are voluntary – allowing employers to make coverage available to their entire workforce and designed to let employees choose from the coverage options at affordable group rates. This new offering reflects the growing trend of employers and employees sharing the costs and decisions about benefits coverage.

Employers choose to offer short term disability, long term disability or both, along with a few other options:

  • Whether premiums are shared or 100% employee-paid
  • The benefit choices and maximum benefit amounts.

Then employees choose whether to participate, select the benefit amount option that is best for them, and select the elimination period on short term disability, if available.

The need for disability income protection is significant. Three-quarters of workers today do not have enough emergency savings to cover six months or more of their expenses, according to a survey.1 And half of all households could not raise $2,000 within a month if they needed to.2

“If unexpectedly sidelined by illness or injury, many workers would face significant financial strain,” Plummer said. “They need our help, and this new offering helps connect the dots between this clear need and the provision of adequate coverage.”

1 Bankrate, “June 2014 Financial Security Index Charts,” (2014; accessed Jun. 25, 2014),

2 Ruth Helman et. al, “2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Perceived Savings Needs Outpace Reality for Many,” EBRI Issue Brief (no. 384, 2013).


Unum is a leading provider of financial protection benefits through the workplace. The disability insurance leader in the U.S. for 38 years, Unum’s portfolio of financial protection products also includes life, accident and critical illness, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. In 2014, Unum paid $5.6 billion in benefits to more than 525,000 individuals and their families.

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Kathy Plummer, director of disability product development for Unum (Photo: Business Wire)
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