Pension contributions made by an employer are tax free (within limits). Contrast that with medical insurance paid by the employer which is almost certainly taxable on the employee or director as a benefit in kind.
Historically most life assurance that pays out to an employees family (not the employer) has been seen as a taxable benefit. However many life assurance schemes now are set up by the large insurance companies such that no taxable benefit arises, even where payouts are to the family. As long and the scheme documentation clearly states it meets the conditions of ITEPA 2003 s307 and s393B(4) then it can be assumed no benefit arises.
It is important to consult an Independent Financial Adviser on pensions and insurance. We are not IFAs but can pass on details of a provider specialising in ethical investments.
As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily summarised and of a general nature. If you would like detailed specific advice please contact us.