How it works

As an existing Plan holder you can choose how much you would like to contribute each month, from £4.00 up to £70.00. A management fee of just 50p per month is added to this. Your monthly contribution will become the amount you are entitled to be paid each day in sickness benefit.

Depending on the surplus available to the Fund, on December 31st of each year we will credit your account with a percentage of the total monthly contributions you have made during the year. Currently 75% of your premium is allocated back into your account, but this percentage could go either down or up, depending on the costs and expenses incurred.

Contact the Office for further information about how the Sickness Income Plan works. 

The money which has built up in your Fund from previous years attracts a tax-exempt * rate of interest calculated on the end of year balance. 

The benefits

If you are unwell, or have an accident, we will pay you a daily cash benefit equal to your monthly contribution after we have received your medical certificate. This payment will be sent to you by cheque each month. 

Part of the daily benefit will be paid out from the money in your Fund, with the balance coming from central funds. The amount which is paid from your Fund will depend on your age when you start your plan, and ranges from one quarter to two thirds of your total benefit. 

We will continue to pay your sickness benefit whilst you are "signed off from work" or until your Fund becomes exhausted (whichever occurs first). In the latter case, sickness benefit ceases but entitlement to benefits starts again the following January when your Fund is replenished with a percentage of your previous year's contributions.

If you are fortunate enough to remain fit and well, then your Fund will build up each year (with tax-exempt * interest) and you may even withdraw money from it as long as you leave an amount equal to two year's contributions in your Fund. Remember though, the less you leave in your Fund the less you will have for subsequent sickness claims.

Click on the 'Detail' tab below for more information.

If you require any further information on this please contact us by telephone on 0151 724 1930 during normal office hours.

*under current legislation

At a glance

  • A unique form of income protection in the event of sickness or injury.
  • You choose the monthly premium (from £4.00 up to £70.00): your sickness benefit per day will be the same amount.
  • Benefit starts on the first day of your doctor's certificate.
  • Your sickness benefit is tax-free* and paid monthly by cheque to you.
  • Currently 75% of your premium is allocated to your very own ‘Member’s Fund’ and can be a welcome nest-egg whenever you need it.
  • There is also the facility to save in a 'Surplus contributions Deposit' account with tax-free* interest .
  • Our cover is worldwide.

* Under current legislation

  • Detail
  • FAQs
  • Existing Plan Holders
Current Apportionment & Allocation Rates
Apportionment of contributions 75%  
Allocation on Member's Own Funds (Tax Free)* 5.50% Equal to 6.88% at 20% tax rate
Allocation on Deposit funds (Tax Free)* 5.50% Equal to 6.88% at 20% tax rate


What does this mean?

Let's say that you decide to pay a contribution rate of £30 each month (the maximum is £70). Over a full year this will total £360.

Using the current level of Apportionment, 75% of what you have paid in (£270) will be placed into a Fund in your name. The remaining 25% goes into the Central Funds.

The money in the Central Funds is used to pay the running costs and expenses of running the fund and also to pay the Central Funds proportion of Sickness Benefit.

Sickness Benefit is paid to you from the first day of a medically certified illness (the usual Doctor's Certificate is all we need) and you will receive the same amount PER DAY in Sickness Benefit as you pay in contributions EACH MONTH (i.e. £30 per DAY or £210 per WEEK)

A proportion of your Sickness Benefit is taken from your own Fund, the exact amount depends on your age when you take out the policy and any subsequent increases in contributions.

For example, if you joined before age 35, then one quarter of your Sickness Benefit will come from your OWN Fund and three quarters from the Society's funds.


Investment Income

All the money in your Members' Own and the Central Funds, together with contributions paid in during the year, are invested and produces investment income.

At the end of each year the financial performance of the Fund over the previous 12 months is reviewed and it is decided how much the Fund can afford for the level of Apportionment and Allocation (the amount of tax-free interest* to be paid on the money in Members' Funds).

The money in your Member's Own Fund can easily build up and, if not used for Sickness Benefit, can be withdrawn as a lump sum.

How your sickness benefit is funded
Age on joining the fund, or increasing your contributions Class Composition of benefit
Under 35 A 1/4 Your fund and 3/4 Unity Mutual funds
35 and under 45 B 1/3 Your fund and 2/3 Unity Mutual funds
45 and under 50 C 1/2 Your fund and 1/2 Unity Mutual funds
50 and under 65 D 2/3 Your fund and 1/3 Unity Mutual funds


Surplus Contributions Deposit Account

As a member of our Sickness Income Plan you are entitled to open a separate (and optional) Surplus Contributions Deposit Account, which can also earn tax-exempt * interest and from which money can be withdrawn with just seven days' notice. 

The amount you can deposit into this account is limited to a maximum of four times your annual contributions to the Sickness Income Plan. In addition, your Surplus Contributions Deposit Account funds may be used to pay you additional sickness benefit should your Fund become exhausted.

Leaving the plan

It is important to note that this plan is no longer available to new customers, so if you leave the plan you will not be able to re-apply.

If you leave the Plan before retirement, you may incur a forfeit of contributions, currently equivalent to one year's premiums, but the remaining balance will be repaid to you together with all the money you may have in your Deposit Account. 

On the other hand you may prefer to remain a member of the Plan and continue to be eligible for sickness benefit until you reach the age of 70. At that time we will either repay all the money which has accumulated in your Fund and Surplus Contributions Deposit Account, or transfer the money in your Fund to your Surplus Contributions Deposit Account, which could then remain invested.



*under current legislation

Q.1 What is the Sickness Income Plan?

You pay monthly contributions to the plan.

On 31st December each year, a proportion of what you have paid during the year (currently 75%) is transferred to a fund in your name called your “Member’s Fund”.

The remaining portion (currently 25%) goes into Unity Mutual's funds and is used to pay administration costs and sickness benefits.

The money in your Member’s Fund then earns interest which is tax exempt.


Q.2 How much can I pay in?

You can pay from £4.00 to £70.00 per month by direct debit.

You can change your contributions at any time in £2.00 increments within these limits.

Any increases are dependent on your state of health at the time.

Q.3 Are there any other charges?

There is a monthly management charge of 50p each month. 

This is added to the payment level you choose.

If you stop paying into the plan you may have to pay a forfeit.


Q.4 How much sickness benefit do I receive?

Whatever you pay each month is the amount of benefit you will be entitled to receive per day, payable on a monthly basis.

Q.5 When do I start receiving benefit payments?

We will pay sickness benefit from the first day of your illness stated on the medical certificate.

This includes weekends and holidays.

We pay sickness benefit on a monthly basis.

Q.6 Do I have to go into Hospital to start receiving benefits under this plan?

No.  You just need to provide an original medical certificate.

Q.7 How much is taken from my 'Member's Fund' when I am ill?

If you start your plan before age 35, then 25% of your sickness benefit is taken from your Member’s Fund and 75% is paid by the Society.

The amount taken from your Member’s Fund Depends on your age when you join the fund.

You can get more information on this in our leaflet “How the Sickness Income Plan works” which is available by contacting us directly.

Q.8 How long can I receive sickness benefit for?

You can receive sickness benefit as long as there is enough money in your Member’s Fund, provided you have medical certificates.

If your Member’s Fund runs out of money, sickness benefit ceases until the following January.

Please also read the section on the Deposit Account.



Q.9 Can I take money out of my 'Member's Fund'?

Yes, provided you leave in at least 2 years’ contributions.

This is to make sure that there is some money in the fund to pay benefits if you are ill.

Q.10 What if I retire?

You can keep your Plan going after you retire.

Sickness benefits are payable up to age 70.

Q.11 How does the 'Surplus Contributions Deposit Account' work?

This is a separate account.

You can earn tax exempt interest on the money you save in this account.

You can use some of the money in the account to extend the time you are paid sickness benefit.

Q.12 How much can I pay into the 'Surplus Contributions Deposit Account'?

You can pay up to four times the amount you pay in a year to the Sickness Income Plan into the account.

Q.13 When can I make payments to the 'Surplus Contributions Deposit Account'?

You can make payments to the account whenever you want to.

If you make payments to the account as soon as you take out your Sickness Income Plan, you will be able to claim sickness benefits if you are ill between taking out the Plan and the following January.


* under current legislation

If you want to amend your payments, or make a claim for sickness benefits, please see the information below.

As always, if you need help simply get in touch.

Make a claim for Sickness Benefit

To make a claim for Sickness Benefit, please download a Claim Form and carefully follow the instructions provided.

Please send your completed claim form along with an original copy of one of the following documents:-

  • Medical Doctor's Statement (Form Med 3), or
  • Hospital Certificate (Form Med 10), or
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DFWP) Certificate (Form BF30)

If you would like your Medical Certificate returning to you, or forwarded to another address, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

Please note that any fee payable for a medical certificate must be paid by you.

As well as asking you for details of your claim, we also need your consent for us to contact your GP in case we require further information.

If you have any questions regarding your claim, please contact us.

Amend my contributions

You can choose your own level of contribution, rising from a minimum of £4 per month, in £2 increments to the maximum (currently £70).

If you are thinking of increasing your monthly contributions it is important for you to bear in mind the effect of our classifications:-

Age Class Benefit
Under 35 A 1/4 Your fund and 3/4 Society funds
35 and under 45 B 1/3 Your fund and 2/3 Society funds
45 and under 55 C 1/2 Your fund and 1/2 Society funds
55 and under 69 D 2/3 Your fund and 1/3 Society funds

Your existing contributions will remain at their current classification levels: only the increased elements will be set to the appropriate classification for your age at the time of applying for the increase.

When considering applications for increase, we will take into account any previous sickness record and current medical condition.

When granted, you will not be eligible for benefit at the increased level until six months have elapsed from the date of the first increased payment.

Your Direct Debit will be amended to the new rate of contribution automatically and you will receive notification of this in writing. 

You can apply to increase your contributions at any time within the above limits. If you would like to do this, simply contact us.

Make a withdrawal

You can make a withdrawal from your plan at any time after 2 years contributions have been made.

Please contact us for an up-to-date plan value, and to make a withdrawal.