Young professional millennials smiling.

Why Employee Benefits Are Important

Do you know 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? Whatever it is, you can best believe they know why employee benefits are important. Hays 2014 Compensation, Benefits, Recruitment and Retention Guide says that when a candidate makes the decision to accept or decline a position, nearly 20% of that decision is based on the benefits they are offered.

Employee benefits are important and are becoming the new standard among employers seeking talented individuals in today’s job market. With growing families, employees want a health and dental plan along with the security of disability benefits and life insurance. However, it doesn’t stop there. Employers are tuning in to why employee benefits are important and offering other incentives including the following:

  • Performance bonuses
  • Group RRSP or Pension Plan employer match
  • 2 weeks vacation
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Ability to work from home
  • Healthcare Spending Account

Today, in Alberta’s economy, many employers struggle to find employees from a shrinking talent pool. To be competitive in recruiting the top talent the report recommends small companies focus on promoting cost-effective benefit plans, Healthcare spending accounts, Group RRSP contributions, Workplace Flexibility, and opportunity for advancement.

To find out more, call your Benefit Strategies broker at 1-780-437-5070.


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Benefit Strategies in Capital Ideas Edmonton

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What’s your biggest customer service challenge?

Chelsey Smith, marketing and communications director at Benefit Strategies Inc., recently shared her biggest customer service challenge 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 resources. It is often frustrating for employees to try to communicate with designated toll-free lines, or troubleshoot independently. We can alleviate that frustration, and provide a transparent and timely response.”

Here’s a snapshot of the publication with all the responses from entrepreneurs on what they’ve learned about serving customers well.


Are you looking for a better experience when it comes to selecting and managing employee benefits in your workplace? Contact our Edmonton employee benefits broker at 780-437-5070 or arrange a free Consultation online.

We’ll help alleviate your frustration and provide the transparency Chelsey describes as part of our customer service experience.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Employees in a board meeting.

When Should Your Key Employees Start Saving for Retirement?

If your key employees are like most other Canadians they are saving for retirement and dreaming 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 steady paycheque will they be able to support their leisurely lifestyle – and what about unexpected expenses such as health bills?

This is why employee benefits and retirement planning is a must in order to make saving for retirement a possibility. Retirement planning is also a key Executive Benefit that your company can offer to help attract and maintain key employees within your workforce. Most employees find Retirement Plans important as many are not in the habit of regularly putting aside money for retirement.

Your employees also deal with the many costs of living expenses such as mortgages, education, raising children, food, and other unexpected expenses that often get in the way, preventing employees from properly saving for retirement, especially during their earlier years in the workforce.

The important questions then become paramount:

  • When should your key employees start saving for retirement
  • And how can you, as their employer, help with their retirement planning?

Here are three critical pieces of advice we’ve put together to help you explore the topic of employee benefits and retirement planning.

1. Help Employees Develop Good Retirement Saving Habits

Starting to save for retirement at a young age (even in very small increments) can help establish good lifelong saving habits.

Even though many employees find it much harder to actually do it, most do understand that every penny set aside for retirement early on definitely helps, allowing for the benefits of tax-savings and compounding interest.

As an employer, you can empower your key employees to start saving (even if it’s only small) for their future.

2. Keep Your Employees Informed with Retirement Planning Information

Your employees can also benefit from proper information and education in regards to saving for retirement. The big question for many Canadians is how much money will they actually need to retire? Helping them start to understand this number (and how they can achieve it) can help ease their worries and set them on the correct path of retirement planning.

The following outlines several factors that go into the financial influences that affect retirement savings. A good employee benefits and retirement planning specialist can help explain and incorporate these into an effective Retirement Plan:

  • Lifestyle choices
  • Monthly and annual expenses
  • Any additional accumulated savings
  • Any monthly pension income (through private or government sources)
  • Expected investment rate of return
  • Rate of inflation

Your company’s Employee Benefits Planner can provide useful retirement planning tools and can even advise you on the best ways to inform your workforce on retirement best practises.

3. Help Employees Plan for Retirement within 10 Years of Retiring

There are so many unknowns in your twenties and thirties that it can be hard to establish a formal retirement plan. Some of these unknowns include health, value of assets, rate of inflation, rate of return, and so on. This is why many retirement strategists will recommend that a formal retirement savings plan can come later in life when you are closer to retiring.

A general rule of thumb many people follow is to start seriously thinking about their retirement plan approximately 10 years before retiring and to formalize an official retirement plan 5 years before retiring.

This is when your company’s Employee Benefits Planner can step in and work with employees nearing the end of their career. Professional advice, accurate number crunching, and support through the retirement transition are very valuable to those gearing up to retire. For more information, call us at 1-780-437-5070.