Benefit Strategies Inc. Blog – Executive & Employee Benefit Tips

Five Steps in the Broker Selection Process

In Part 1 of this blog series we offered tips on how to select a benefits broker and when you should consider looking for a new broker. In this follow-up post, we’ll take a look at the 5 Steps to follow in the broker selection process.

Start Early

When contemplating how to choose a benefits broker we strongly suggest you start the process well in advance of your planned renewal date. The broker selection process is multifaceted, regardless of the size of your company.

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How Are Today’s Health Benefits Plans Changing?

The changing labour force is changing benefits plans. 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 Statistics Canada, as of…

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Looking for Tips on How to Select a Benefits Broker?

It is vital to know how to select a benefits broker properly. Finding the right employee benefits broker to manage your employee benefits package is essential if you hope to maintain your company’s competitive edge. Many people jump to the conclusion that a broker’s job is just to shop for coverage. However, this is only…

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Surveys on the Extent of Employee Anxiety During Coronavirus

Recent surveys confirm employee anxiety during coronavirus is still rising. With the loss of Canadian income and employment both anxiety and alcohol consumption are on the rise.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is a major contributing factor for anxiety and overconsumption in the workforce. In these times of uncertainty, it is paramount that employers do what they can to protect the health and wellbeing of not only their own families but also employees and their families.

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What Does Each Generation Value for Employee Benefits?

In this blog post our experts at Benefit Strategies Inc. will take a look at employee benefits by generation, where we can see there are some marked differences. We live in a unique time where the North American workforce is comprised of four generations of workers that represent a diverse age group. It’s no wonder…

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Tips for Designing an Employee Benefits Package

In this Benefit Strategies blog post we’ll offer some guidelines on how to design an employee benefits program that attracts great employees and won’t break the bank. As a business owner, you often have to put so much on the line when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining talented employees. And, when it comes…

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2019 Federal Budget- Employee Benefits Impacted

How will the new 2019 Federal Budget impact benefit plan sponsors, employees, and employers? National Pharmacare Program With the March 2019 Federal budget, progress is being made towards instituting a National Pharmacare Program. The move away from Provincial Pharmacare Programs involves projects to develop a National Drug Formulary and the creation of a Canada Drug…

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Benefit Strategies Inc. Wins Consumer Choice Award

For two years running (2018 and 2019), Benefit Strategies Inc. in Edmonton Alberta has been awarded the Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence. The majority of our clients are from the Edmonton and the Northern Alberta area, but our group and employee benefits brokers also service small and medium sized businesses throughout Western Canada, the…

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Marijuana Legalization in Canada & What It Means for Employers

Canada recently legalized recreational cannabis…so what does that mean for employers? Medicinal & Recreational Use In 2017, Health Canada conducted a survey of medicinal cannabis users and here’s what they discovered: 97% per cent of sufferers indicated experiencing some level of relief 72% reported they were able to decrease their use of opioids and other…

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Green Shield Canada – SMARTspend Benefits Plan

Mental health support and complete drug coverage are both central in the new SMARTspend benefits plan by Green Shield Canada. Although massage therapy coverage has been terminated, the SMARTspend benefits plan is a revolutionary product by Green Shield Canada that will focus on: Better support for mental health Options for digital mental health support 100%…

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Top 10 Workforce Priorities: Survey

Employee productivity and engagement, wellness, and attracting and retaining employees are among the top workforce priorities for Canadian employers, according to a new survey The survey polled approximately 200 Canadian plan sponsors in relation to their group benefits, priorities in the workforce, and more. Top 10 Priorities Employee productivity/engagement Employee wellness Attracting, retaining employees; developing skills for…

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Key Estate Planning Questions to Ask Yourself

Do You Know What Estate Planning Questions to Ask? Estate planning is organizing a tax-efficient transfer of your assets to family members, specific people or charities. Your estate plan will determine who should receive assets, and when proceeds of your estate should be distributed. Plus any other financial or contractual obligations. If you own a…

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3 Tips to Improve Acceptance of Employee Benefits Changes

Modifying Employee Benefits & Minimizing Resistance Making employee benefits changes and package modifications are sometimes not easily understood by staff. In some cases, making changes to employee benefits do not receive the widespread acceptance that an employer might hope for. There are numerous ways employers can explain employee benefits changes. The objective is to provide…

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Can Employee Benefits Drive Employee Engagement?

Benefits of Employee Engagement Employee benefits do help in improving employee engagement. In fact, as employee engagement rises, more than ever we are seeing positive spinoffs such as: Lower employee turnover Improved customer satisfaction Elevated profitability Increases in productivity Reduction in absenteeism Improved morale Read more in our article Employee Well Being & Productivity –…

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Financial Issues Affect Employee Health & Productivity

What You As an Employer Can Do to Help How does employee financial wellness affect the employer? 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…

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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 ensure that their managed benefits plans are helping 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…

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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, how much. 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 A recent study…

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Tips for Minimizng Employee Benefits Cost Increases

Minimizing employee benefits cost increases has always been an insurance industry concern. Let’s look at our options. 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 last five…

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Tips on Transitioning From Fixed to Custom Benefit Plans

The overall trend in the last several years for employee benefits is to move away from traditional or fixed benefits to more tailored, custom benefit plans. One example is Health Spending Accounts that allow employees to choose the benefits they want. And, since employers only have to pay for the benefits that have been used, employers…

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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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Which Industries Offer the Best Benefits

While salaries are still the strongest incentive, many potential employees also look at industries with the best benefits 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…

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Restaurant Finds Unique Way to Fund Employee Benefits Plan

A Toronto restaurant found a unique approach to employee benefits funding. 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 saying, the surcharge was a…

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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 how Canadians feel about retirement and some troubling statistics 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…

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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

Have you thought about creating a workplace culture that is positive and motivates your employees? Are you continually losing employees or having difficulty hiring new ones, or have you been experiencing productivity slumps? There’s plenty of support to show that a positive workplace culture can and will motivate employees. Addressing Workplace Motivation and Culture In…

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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 about a study on improving workplace mental health, which was 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…

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Workplace Wellbeing – Top Goals of Global Employers

Conducted biannually by Xerox HR Services, a new global survey on workplace wellbeing 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 major…

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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

Are there benefit plans for seniors now that retirement is a thing of the past and 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…

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Massage Therapy Benefits for Employees

This last month Benefits Canada asked the question, “Are massage therapy benefits for employee 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 benefits coverage too low?” The online Canadian poll questioned 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 coverage when compared to…

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Industries with the Best Employee Benefits

Have you ever wondered what is the best employee benefits by industry and how your package compares to employee benefits in other industry sectors? 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…

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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 about self health monitoring apps. Some health-related companies are now 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…

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Oil Bust Increases Employee Benefits Cost to Employers

The oil bust effect on benefits plans is a real cause for concern for 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…

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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 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 employee benefits plan design…

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Top 10 Employee Benefits in Canada

The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) polled nearly 4,000 payroll practitioners to determine the country’s top employee benefits in Canada. 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 Income…

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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

Gold Sponsor – Benefit Strategies sponsors 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 and wine, meet…

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Capital Ideas: Balancing Work, Life and Health

On the subject of balancing work life and health, 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: “Balancing work, life and health for employees is…

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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. This includes multiple generations of employees with different approaches to the workday, constant connection causing burnout,…

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Employee Benefits vs Salary Increases in 2016

When it comes to employee benefits vs salary, as many as 79% of employees prefer the perks that employee benefits can bring over getting 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…

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New Trends in Retirement Plans in Canada

New trends in retirement plans are a challenge according to Human Resource consulting agency Morneau Shepell’s recent study called Trends in Human Resources. 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. DB and…

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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 talking about estate planning, finances and wills 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% have…

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Canada Critical Illness Insurance – FAQ

The purpose of this critical illness insurance FAQ blog post by Benefit Strategies, is to offer answers to some very basic questions that most Canadians have on this subject. 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…

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