Category Archives: Benefits Costs

The Four Pitfalls of Self-Managing Your Healthcare Spending Account

Health Care Spending Accounts
Posted on January 14th, 2015 by Karen Taylor Smith

Some employers believe they can save money on administration by self-managing their healthcare spending account (HCSA) benefits plan. However, it’s important to know that self-administration often results in high costs, lost time, and other drawbacks. Before you determine whether to use a third party administrator or self-manage your plan, you (…) [Read Full Article]

What Finance Needs to Know About Employee Benefits

Employee benefits
Posted on November 19th, 2014 by Mike Ignatz

In the Fall 2014 edition of Canadian Treasurer Magazine, The Benefits Trust’s Robert Crowder (President) and Karen Taylor Smith (Senior Manager, Group Benefits) were interviewed, along with six of the other top benefits consultants in Canada, to comment on the topic of finance and employee benefits. The article, entitled “Employee (…) [Read Full Article]

How Benefits Plans Discriminate Against Executives

Benefits Plans
Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Robert Crowder

That’s right: most off-the-shelf benefits plans on the market discriminate against executives. It’s simple when you think about it. Let’s say everyone in your company has the same, standard benefits plan. When you hire a new employee in an entry-level position and give them benefits, they’re getting the same benefits (…) [Read Full Article]

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Group Benefits Taxation

Save on Benefit plans
Posted on July 18th, 2014 by Karen Taylor Smith

Which taxes apply to ASO group benefits plans in Ontario? Premium Tax = 2.0% Provincial Insurance Tax = 8.0% HST = 13.0% Premium Tax on ASO Benefits Plans Premium tax is determined for each employee based on that employee’s province of residence. Premium tax on insurance products (Life Insurance, AD&D, (…) [Read Full Article]

Want to Retain Your Best Employees?

employee retention
Posted on June 18th, 2014 by Karen Taylor Smith

The right compensation can be the key to retaining your best employees and attracting talented newcomers. Small business owners can maximize the value of their compensation with smart spending on employee benefits. A recent article from MarketWatch, a Wall Street Journal publication, advises that “the right menu of benefits can (…) [Read Full Article]

Why Shopping Your Benefits Plan Won’t Save you Money

Shopping Your Benefits Plan
Posted on December 9th, 2013 by Mike Ignatz

A benefits plan is a promise between an employer and employee. You can design your promise to include cost controls, but the most common tactics rely on small changes within the structure of the plan. Reducing per-person or family maximums, increasing drug plan deductibles, and limiting paramedical practitioners to a (…) [Read Full Article]

Phasing in Employee Benefits by Seniority

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Karen Taylor Smith

When most people think about differentiating benefits for groups of employees, they assume the groups are separated by role. An example would be a benefits plan that provides executives with different benefits than customer service representatives (CSR) in small and mid-sized companies. This is certainly one way that groups or (…) [Read Full Article]

Do You Know What Drives Benefits Costs?

Benefits Costs
Posted on August 28th, 2013 by Karen Taylor Smith

Why are benefits costs going up so quickly? A recent article in Benefits Canada Magazine identifies a number of factors putting pressure on healthcare costs in Canada, with the net result that  “between 2010 and 2011, benefits costs escalated by an average of 6.2%, more than twice the rate of (…) [Read Full Article]

Ways to Share Benefits Plan Costs, Pt 5: Healthcare Spending Accounts

Posted on April 29th, 2013 by Karen Taylor Smith

Our blog today is the last installment in The Many Ways to Share Benefits Plan Costs series. The final topic is an explanation of health care spending accounts. In case you have missed the previous blogs in this series, please check them out: Part One: Payroll Deduction Part Two: Co-Insurance (…) [Read Full Article]

Ways to Share Benefits Plan Costs, Part 4: Prescription Deductibles

Posted on April 17th, 2013 by Karen Taylor Smith

Welcome to part four of our sharing benefits plan costs series. In this blog, we are discussing the common types of prescription drug deductibles. In our earlier blogs, we examined the value of payroll deduction, co-insurance, and annual deductibles. There are two common types of prescription deductibles: a flat dollar (…) [Read Full Article]

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