2019 Federal Budget- Employee Benefits Impacted/in Employee Benefits, News/by Daryl Smith
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 Agency (CDA) plus a National Strategy for High-Cost Drugs and Rare Diseases.
Our publicly funded health care system is based on need and is the envy of many countries around the world. However, a National Pharmacare Program would cover the costs for expensive drugs necessary to help Canadians with certain rare diseases.
Protect Employees & Pensions from Employer Insolvency
The new Federal budget is also looking into how to improve creditor protection for plan members should an employer declare bankruptcy. The goal is to improve the fairness and transparency of the insolvency proceedings and make them more accessible for plan members.
Canadian Training Benefit
As of 2020, if you are an employee between the ages of 25 and 64 and with an income of less than $150,000, you may be eligible for the Canadian Training Benefit. This EI Training Support Benefit provides an automatic credit of $250 per year (with a $5000 lifetime limit). The benefit can be used for up to 4 weeks of leave or towards training fees for college, university, or any other eligible institution. You must have 600 insurable hours to qualify.
For more information about the 2019 Federal Budget in Canada, visit the Government of Canada page entitled, Investing in the Middle Class.
Need Help with Employee Benefits Plans?
If you are an employer and you want to learn more about what you can do for your employees, our employee benefits brokers can help.
If your business employs 10 or more employees and you don’t currently have an employee benefits plan, let us show you how a well-designed plan can benefit your employees and your business.
Benefit Strategies Inc. is located in Edmonton Alberta and we service businesses throughout all the Western Provinces plus the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
If you still have questions about how the Canadian 2019 Federal budget will affect employee benefits, please call our benefits brokers at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.
Benefit Strategies Inc. Wins Consumer Choice Award/in Benefits Broker, News/by Daryl Smith
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 Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.
Voted Best Group Benefits Broker
The Consumer Choice Award program has been recognizing business excellence throughout Canada for more than 30 years. This recognition is awarded by consumers to help other consumers make better and more informed buying decisions.
Benefit Strategies Inc. was the only winner in the “Group Benefits Broker” category for the Edmonton and Northern Alberta area.
We offer creative solutions for group and employee benefits plus complimentary benefit analysis and exceptional on-going benefits plan management.
About the Consumer Choice Award
Established in 1987, the sole purpose of the Consumer Choice Award (CCA) is to recognize small and medium sized local businesses for their business excellence. The CCA award uses a 4-step ranking process that is statistically supported by independent market research. CCA Award winners are selected by the consumer based partly on customer satisfaction and brand reputation. This recognition helps to inform and assure other consumers they will be receiving best in class for products and service in this market.
Benefit Strategies Inc. is located at #204 – 6908 Roper Road in Edmonton AB.
To learn more about our group and employee benefits plans or about our company, please call us at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.
Click here to see the full list of winners for 2018 on the news release by Globe News Wire.
Trend Alert: Canadian Salaries Expected to Rise in 2018/in Employee Benefits, News/by Daryl Smith
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 by Willis Towers Watson, a Toronto based Insurance Company, surveyed over 300 Canadian employers on whether or not they project base salary increases for all or some employee groups in 2018.
The Willis Towers Watson survey results showed that:
- 94% of Canadian employers expect to increase salaries in 2018 (up from just 90% in 2017)
- Employers expect to award base increases of 2.8% – to both executive and non-executive employees
In another Canadian salary study by Mercer Canada, the study projects that Canadian salaries will increase by 2.4% in 2018 compared to the 2.3% increase in 2017.
Salary Increases Need To Be Strategic
The Mercer study found that top performers can expect to receive salary increases of up to 1.8 times that of average performers. Both top performers and those with in-demand skill sets will expect to be paid differently because competition is so fierce.
The Willis Towers Watson study found that most employers are rewarding what they call “star performers” with substantially larger salary increases while giving minimal – if any – increases to their weakest performers.
Employee Retention #1 Priority for Employers in 2018
The Mercer Canada study found that 69% of survey respondents are most concerned about employee retention when it comes to compensation decisions in 2018.
The second highest concern when administering salary increases is overall economic climate.
Alterative Compensations Instead of Salary Increases
Rather than just handing out pay raises only to top performers, or pay raises straight across the board, Allison Griffiths (principal at Mercer Canada), suggest employers look to alternate compensation packages.
For example, extra vacation days, education and skill development, or work-from-home options could be more lucrative than a straight across dollar raise. The report also showed that employee benefit plans can also fit in as an alternative to salary increases in 2018.
About Benefit Strategies Inc.
As employee benefit brokers based out of Edmonton, Alberta, Benefit Strategies Inc. is dedicated to helping Canadian businesses compensate and reward their employees. We service small businesses and corporations throughout Alberta, the Western Provinces and the Northwest Territories.
For more information about how to leverage employee benefits to retain and compensate your employees in 2018 please contact Benefit Strategies Inc. Call us at 1-780-437-5070 or contact our benefits brokers by email.
You might also our article titled How to Deal with Employee Benefits Cost Increase.
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