Around one in eight (12%) men and women are forced to stop working before state pension age due to ill-health or disability, according to research recently published by the TUC.

The TUC report, Postponing the pension: are we all working longer?1, found that nearly half a million workers who are within five years of state pension age have had to leave the workplace for medical reasons.

The housing charity Shelter2, which found that one inthree families in England could not pay their housing costs for more than a month if they lost their job. Furthermore, nearly a quarter would be unable to pay their housing costs at all. Nearly half of families in the survey named the cost of housing as the biggest drain on their budget.

What’s the answer?

It’s a fact that nasty things happen in life. You could lose your job, and if there's nothing, or next to nothing in the bank, then this could potentially be very hard to cope with.

One way to deal with such a possibility is to save, but how much money should people have put away just in case?

Anti-debt charity Step Change says that if every household in the UK had £1,000 saved, it would reduce the number falling into problem debt by half a million3. Martin Lewis, founder of, recommends each household sets up an emergency fund to the value of "at least six months' worth of bills"4.

Such a level of savings can be hard to build up, and is diminished very quickly in the event that you have no income.

A better route is to consider taking an income protection policy.

Income protection provides people with a regular income should they be off work due to injury or illness, an income that helps pay the bills and removes many financial worries during recovery.

According to research, just 12% of employers support their staff for more than a year if they're off sick from work. When consumer association Which asked the public, just 9% said they have some form of income protection, compared with 41% who have life insurance and 16% who have private medical insurance.

Income Protection Plus from PG Mutual

PG Mutual aim to protect people with an affordable plan for those times when it is needed most - a financial safety net should the unexpected happen.

Income Protection PLUS helps with the payment of a regular income from the first day of ill health or injury until the age of 65 (or until return to work) and includes an investment element which pays out at maturity of the policy. Plus, it comes with a range of member benefits giving access to discounts, cashbacks and offers on popular brands and services. The plan is customisable and can be reviewed at any time.

Isn’t it time you gave some thought to your back-up plan?

You might want to consider what would happen if you were unable to work due to sickness. If you’re employed, do you know how much your employer will pay you and for how long? And if you’re self-employed, do you have enough savings to last you three months, six months or longer? Do you know what government benefits you would qualify for, and for how long? In short, are you financially secure enough to support your family and your lifestyle? If the answer to these questions is no, you might want to visit for a quote for Income Protection Plus.  Remember to use ‘AIA’ in the discount code to receive a 20% discount off your first two years' cover^ or telephone 0800 146 307 for further information. 

1Postponing the pension: are we all working longer. TUC, published 5 September 2016.

2One in three working families only one pay cheque away from losing their home. Shelter, 9 August 2016.

3An Action Plan on Problem Debt, Step Change Debt Charity. January 2015.

4How much of a savings buffer do people need? Justin Parkinson,BBC News, 15 March 2016.

^For full Terms and Conditions, visit

PG Mutual is the trading name of Pharmaceutical and General Provident Society Ltd. Registered office: 11 Parkway, Porters Wood, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 6PA. Incorporated in the United Kingdom under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Registered Number 462F. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, Firm Reference Number 110023.