Britons increasingly underprepared for long-term absence from work

Posted on 15 Jun 2017

Britons increasingly underprepared for long-term absence from work

A significant number of British people have not adequately planned for a long-term absence from work due to illness or injury, research from Cirencester Friendly has shown.

A survey of over 2000 adults by Censuswide has shown that over half of people (54%) don’t think their savings would last more than three months if they were out of work – this has increased by nearly one third from 2014, when this figure was just 41% of people.

In addition, the number of those whose savings would last over six months has dropped by almost half from 31% in 2014 to just 16% this year.

Those aged 45 or over are increasing feeling financially squeezed. In 2014, 39% of this group said their savings would last over six months in the event of being unable to work through injury or illness, compared with just 25% in 2016. Moreover, findings this year showed that the over 45s were also the age group most likely not so save any money each month(34%) compared with the national average of 28%.

Rebecca Young, Head of Marketing at Cirencester Friendly commented:

“These findings paint a concerning picture of the finances of the population, with people’s savings today lasting dramatically less than in 2014. If you are unable to work due to illness or injury, the amount of money provided by the Government via Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is just over £70 each week – this has decreased by nearly £30 per week in the last two years. At the same time, the number of people with long term savings has dropped by nearly 50%.

“The over 45s are facing these pressure too – in fact more of this generation than any other age group admit that they save nothing each month, leaving them potentially exposed to financial difficulties should their regular income change.

“You can’t predict the future and there are always going to be external influences outside your control, but protecting your income, family and home shouldn’t be one of these. It seems we are a nation which is financially underprepared and it is essential that we know options are available to protect against the unexpected and safeguard our finances.”


Contact:          Rebecca Young, Head of Marketing
                        Cirencester Friendly
                        01285 652 492 / [email protected]

Cat Ommanney
            020 7623 2368 / [email protected]

                        Matt Beasley
                        0207 623 2368 / [email protected]


Notes to Editor:

Cirencester Friendly

Cirencester Friendly was established in 1890 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.  Primarily formed for the benefit of local agricultural workers based in Gloucestershire, today the Society caters for the income protection needs of over 34,000 Members from all walks of life across the UK.

Cirencester Friendly’s ‘Income Assured Plus’ contract follows the traditional ‘Holloway Principle’ first introduced by leading industrialist George Holloway in the late 19th Century.  ‘Holloway Style’ income protection insurance combines the essential elements of income replacement insurance with the option to build a capital sum payable at the maturity of the contract. 

In 2014 Cirencester Friendly launched its first pure income protection contact, My Earnings Insurance (MEI). The product provides flexible cover options allowing Advisers to tailor the contract to each individual clients’ needs. MEI is available through Financial Advisers as well as Mortgage and General Insurance Brokers.

Cirencester Friendly is a mutual organisation.  It therefore has no issued share capital quoted on a stock exchange and is owned by Members who hold a contract with the Society not shareholders.  The friendly society is run for the benefit of its Members who have the right to participate in the running of the Society.

The Society is committed to providing high standards of service and has won a string of Industry Awards over the years including ‘Best Income Protection Provider’ and ‘Service Beyond the Call of Duty’ in the Moneyfacts Investment Life & Pensions.


The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,019 general consumers aged 18+ in GB between 26.10.16  - 31.10.16.  The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults.  Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.  All statistics have been rounded to the nearest decimal place.