Benefit Strategies Inc. Blog – Executive & Employee Benefit Tips

Financial Issues Affect Employee Health & Productivity

What You As an Employer Can Do to Help The relationship between health and productivity is an issue that most employers have to contend with. As an employer, you’ve probably struggled with the effect of sickness in the workplace but have you also thought about employee financial wellness? Does their financial health also affect their…

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Comprehensive Managed Benefits Plans Help Control Costs

In a recent article titled, Businesses Need To Preserve Benefits Through Well-Managed Plans, SmallBizAdvisor urges private sector employers to start acting now in order to preserve employee benefits. The warning to private sector employers comes as a result of private plan spending increasing again in 2016. This is primarily due to rising drug costs as…

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Trend Alert: Canadian Salaries Expected to Rise in 2018

As you prepare for next year you are likely already thinking about whether or not to give out salary increases, and if so, what size of salary increases. Here are two recent Canadian studies that showcase how other employers across Canada anticipate rewarding employees in the next year. Two Studies Show Salaries Expected to Rise…

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How to Deal with Employee Benefits Cost Increase

One of the trends in the insurance industry this year is the anticipation of rising costs of employee benefits. Why are benefit costs increasing? The main reason for the rising cost of employee benefits is because of the skyrocketing costs of specialty drugs. Many of these specialty drugs are new to the market in the…

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Tips on Transitioning From Fixed to Custom Benefits Plan

The overall trend in the last several years for employee benefit plans is to move away from traditional or fixed benefits plans to a more tailored, customized benefits plan. One example is the League Digital Health Insurance App, an app that allows employees to choose the benefits they want. And, since employers only have to…

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Do You Know What Health Benefits Your Employees Really Want?

In a 2017 healthcare survey by Sanofi Canada entitled, “Winds of Change – New Directions In Employee Health Benefits,” author Danny Peak reported some very interesting findings about which health care benefits employees seem to really want. In this Benefit Strategies blog post we’ll give you a quick overview of the Sanofi survey results and…

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How Are Today’s Health Benefits Plans Changing?

The evolving demographics of the workforce demands a re-examination of current employee health benefits plans offered by employers in Canada. In short, as the labour force changes, health benefit plans will also need to change. How Has The Labour Force Been Changing? According to a 2015 Statistics Canada study: Only 24% of today’s workforce are…

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Which Industries Offer the Best Benefits

While salaries are still the strongest incentive, many potential employees also look for other perks like paid leave, health insurance, and retirement plans. In 2016, Glassdoor conducted an anonymous online survey of past and present employees who rated employers across eight different industries, with over 470,000 responses. The objective was to uncover which North American…

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Restaurant Finds Unique Way to Fund Employee Benefits Plan

A Toronto restaurant has taken a unique approach to help fund their employee benefits plan costs. The restaurant began adding a 3% surcharge to each bill, with the funds to be used only to help provide employees with health and dental benefits. Co-owner Heather Mee, was quoted in a May 2017 Benefits Canada article as…

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Introducing League Health Insurance Benefits

Benefit Strategies Inc. is proud to offer its customers access to League Health Insurance Benefits – an employee benefits plan that can be customized through the League digital health app! League Health Insurance Company is an employee benefits provider that offers a digital alternative to traditional health benefits. With League, employees (and employers) can say…

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Canada Pension Plan – Will It Be There When You Retire?

In this post, Benefit Strategies Inc. in Edmonton Alberta takes a look at some troubling statistics about how Canadians feel about the state of the public pension plan in Canada. The belief that Canadian pension plans will cease to exist at the point of retirement is shared by as much as 21% of today’s working…

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Medical Marijuana Added to Shoppers & Loblaws Benefits Plan

Canadian drug benefit plans continually need to evolve to meet the needs of employees. In recent news, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws Canada have now added medical marijuana into their employee benefits packages. These drug benefits are capped at $1,500.00 but reflect the vision of employers who are willing to see past the political rhetoric…

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Creating a Workplace Culture That Motivates Employees

Do you continually lose employees, have difficulty hiring new ones, or experience productivity slumps? Perhaps you need to consider developing a workplace culture that motivates employees. Addressing Workplace Motivation and Culture In an earlier Benefit Strategies article entitled The moment of truth: How to shift to a culture that motivates employees, Joyce M. Rosenberg of…

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When Employees Delay Retirement It Affects Benefits Plans

The changing demographics of the workforce have seen an increased number of employees delay retirement and work beyond the retirement age we had grown accustomed to. Some seniors choose not to retire because they still find work interesting. Others cannot afford to retire and feel they must continue working. As an employer, both groups will…

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Salveo Study on Workplace Mental Health Strategies

At a mental health summit in Toronto, a Manulife consultant presented some surprising results from a workplace mental health study conducted by Salveo Integrative Health. To date, it remains one of the largest mental health studies conducted in Canada. With the aim of improving workplace mental health, the study examined the three main problem areas…

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Workplace Well-Being – Top Goals of Global Employers

Conducted biannually by Xerox HR Services, a new global survey on workplace well being collected data from 33 countries and across 428 different organizations revealing some surprising statistics for the four top goals measured by global employers: 59% ranked increasing productivity in the workplace as their main objective 56% ranked improving employee engagement as another…

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5 Benefits of Working with an Employee Benefits Broker

Are you considering implementing an employee benefits plan in your workplace? Before starting to evaluate any employee benefits plan, here are 5 benefits of working with an Employee Benefits Broker at Benefit Strategies Inc.: Benefits brokers offer you a Comprehensive Evaluation There’s more flexibility in putting the Employee Benefits Plan together Benefits brokers have extensive…

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Millennials Willing To Pay More For Workplace Health Benefits

Millennials are an altogether different breed than the genXers or boomers that preceded them. According to a Benefits Canada article, A third of Millennials would pay more for better health benefits. Millennials are also more likely to seek employment with companies that offer group and individually specific benefits. To entice and retain this generation of…

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What Are Taxable Employee Benefits

Recently Benefits Canada asked the question, “When are employee benefits taxable?” The article suggests that deciding whether a benefit provided to employees is taxable is often not as easy as it might seem. What are taxable employee benefits? The Income Tax Act is just not as cut and dry as one might suspect regarding benefits,…

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Employee Benefit Plans for Employees Over 65 Years

Now that mandatory retirement is a thing of the past, more employees in Canada are working over the age of 65. Baby boomers in the workplace have a variety of reasons for continuing to work. For some, it is an economic necessity. For others, it is by choice. According to a Benefits Canada article, only…

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Massage Therapy – A Worthwhile Employee Benefit?

This last month Benefits Canada asked the question, “Is massage therapy in employee benefits worthwhile?” The question comes up frequently as many benefits plan sponsors are being pressured to deal with rising drug costs and forced to find other places to reduce benefits costs. Is a massage therapy something that benefits plan sponsors can no…

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Do Your Vision Care Benefits Cover Your Employees’ Needs?

This week, Benefits Canada is asking “Is your vision care coverage too low?” The online Canadian poll is currently taking place and questioning if the common $200 vision care coverage included in most employee benefits plans is too low. Another recent survey performed by Sanofi found that employees have very low satisfaction with vision plan…

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Industries with the Best Employee Benefits

Have you ever wondered how your employee benefits package compares to the employee benefits in other industries? A recent study by Glassdoor (an employer rating website) looked at over 470,000 reviews on company websites for businesses that fall into 8 leading industries. The objective was to see how employee benefits compare. Here are the results…

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What Do You Know About Long Term Disability Insurance?

One of the most frequently asked questions in regards to disability insurance in Canada is, “Do I really need to buy long term disability insurance?” There’s no way to know if or when an injury or health issue will occur that might prevent you from being able to work for an extended period of time.…

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Individual Health Monitoring Just Got Easier

You’ve probably heard recently that some health-related companies are offering select groups of customers deeply discounted Apple Watches as rewards for adhering to long-term exercise plans. As of March 21, 2016, the scope and range of personal health care just changed once again. Apple recently announced CareKit, the next step in the development of their…

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Oil Bust Increases Employee Benefits Cost to Employers

The decline of oil prices over these past few years has not only negatively impacted the Alberta economy but it has also had a detrimental impact on employee benefits according to Benefits Canada. This decline has made it difficult for HR departments since they now have less competitive benefits programs to offer in attracting talent. Instead…

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5 Reasons for Employee Benefit Plan Design Change

Could it be time to reassess your employee benefits plan design? In a recent Benefits Canada article written by Brian Lindenberg, we are presented with five compelling reasons for improving and/or designing employee benefits programs in your workplace. Your employee benefit plan risks are changing or have changed. The whole purpose of custom designing an employee…

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Top 10 Employee Benefits in Canada

The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) recently polled nearly 4,000 payroll practitioners in Canada to determine the country’s top employee benefits. Do you offer any of these most popular employee benefits in your workplace? Health and Dental Insurance Group Life Insurance Training Expenses Vehicle Allowances Gifts and Awards Cellular Phone Service Counselling Services Disability-related Employment Benefits…

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Budget Employee Benefits for Small Business

For many small businesses, budgeting for employee benefits may seem like building your own Fabergé egg, representing money and resources that perhaps you feel could be better spent elsewhere. Instead of viewing it as an expense, if you consider employee benefits for staff retention and employee satisfaction then it can really be viewed as employer…

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Benefit Strategies Sponsors The OSP Workin’ It Fashion Show

Benefit Strategies Inc. is a proud Gold Sponsor of the first annual OSP Workin’ It Fashion Show! Please invite some friends and join us at OSP’s 1st Annual “Workin’ It” Fashion Show. The show will feature women’s and men’s Spring Fashion. Fun fact: 3 OSP clients will be among the models! Enjoy some delicious food…

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Capital Ideas: Balancing Work, Life and Health

Recently Benefit Strategies Inc. President Daryl Smith and Capital Ideas asked the Edmonton community of entrepreneurs, “What does employee health and wellness mean at your business?” Daryl Smith started the conversation off with his take on meeting employee needs: “Meeting the needs of employees is paramount. At Benefit Strategies Inc. we include ergonomics around the…

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Capital Ideas, Community Question: What Does Employee Health and Wellness Mean at Your Business?

  Benefit Strategies President, Daryl Smith asked The Edmonton Journal’s Capital Ideas Community Question: What does employee health and wellness mean at your business? There are many pressures in the modern workplace that create challenges for owners and any HR staff, including multiple generations of employees with different approaches to the workday, constant connection causing burnout and…

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A Merry Message!

Happy holidays to you and yours. Wishing you joy and a happy new year!

We look forward to working with you in 2016.

Warm Regards,
Daryl, Tammy, Jennifer, and Chelsey

Employee Benefits vs Salary Increases in 2016

As many as 79% of employees prefer new or additional employee benefits (or perks) as opposed to a pay increase, says a recent study shared by Benefits Canada. This confirms what we already tell most of our clients here at Benefit Strategies – custom tailored benefit packages can be as good as gold and worth…

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New Trends in Retirement Planning in Canada

Not only do employers want to offer competitive retirement plans to their employees, but 21% also want to reduce both the costs and the risks associated with the retirement plans they offer, according to Human Resource consulting agency Morneau Shepell’s recent study called Trends in Human Resources. DB and DC Employee Pensions Plans Here are three…

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How to Talk About Estate Planning

Is Estate Planning the Elephant in the Room for Canadian Families? Recent studies show that most Canadians are uncomfortable with discussing their finances, wills and estate planning with their parents, families, and even professionals: 47% of Canadians have never brought up the subject of inheritance with the people they want to leave money to 79%…

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Canada Critical Illness Insurance – FAQ

In Canada, a critical illness insurance policy helps pay costs associated with a life-altering illness and is received as a lump sum cash payment. Essentially, a critical illness insurance policy helps you recover from a serious illness, condition, or disease, while maintaining your family’s lifestyle and financially stability. The purpose of this FAQ blog post…

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The Realities of Retirement Planning in Canada

According to the recent RBC poll on Retirement Myths & Realities, Canadian’s expectations of retirement planning and the reality of their actual retirement objectives and goals have many major conflicts. Here are some highlights from the poll that compare retirement planning “Expectations” with “Reality.” Social Time Missed More Than Regular Paycheques Expectation: Nearly half of…

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How Are Benefit Brokers Paid?

Benefit Strategies has been helping employers with benefit management services for nearly three decades but we are often asked how our benefit brokers get paid. Our potential clients are often curious at how we get compensated for researching, recommending, and implementing a workplace benefits plans for employees. There are two basic pricing models that can…

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Why Employee Benefits Are Important

If companies do not offer benefits as part of their overall attraction and retention strategy what type of employee are they looking to attract? Most companies are looking to hire young, long-term employees they can build the future growth of their organization around and vice versa. What are these employees looking for? Hays 2014 Compensation, Benefits,…

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Benefit Strategies in Capital Ideas Edmonton

What’s your biggest customer service challenge? Chelsey Smith, marketing and communications director at Benefit Strategies Inc., recently shared her biggest customer service challenges at Capital Ideas’ Earned Media Workshop, which kicked off E-Town on September 11. “The biggest challenge is keeping lines of communication open with companies – we rely on working hand-in-hand with human…

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When Should Your Key Employees Start Saving for Retirement?

If your key employees are like most other Canadians they dream of the day they retire. Pursuing leisurely activities such as travel, hobbies, volunteering, and spending more time with friends and family are likely at the top of their list when they are no longer tied up by the responsibilities of work. But without a…

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What Can a Flexible Benefits Plan Offer Your Employees?

A flexible benefits plan for employees is tailored to meet employees’ unique personal needs. A basic flexible benefits plan offers employees a minimum level of employer-paid benefits such as: Health Dental Accident Disability Life insurance The plan is then topped up with “flex credits” (or a dollar amount), and put into a third party health…

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Poll Reveals Employee Preferences on Saving for Retirement

Canadian workers prefer TFSAs, RRSPs and private investments to CPP. A recent opinion poll by Ipsos-Reid for the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) published some very interesting findings of Canadian’s retirement planning, ability to save for retirement, and preferred retirement planning and employee benefits. The CFIB study discovered that before increasing CPP, more Canadians…

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