The Evolution of Canadian Group Benefits Plans

Mike Ignatz has managed Business Development at The Benefits Trust since 2005. His drive and focus has helped The Benefits Trust provide better benefits plans to small and mid-sized businesses throughout Canada.

The Evolution of Canadian Group Benefits Plans

The Financial Post recently reported on the evolution of group benefits plans in Canada. Many companies—small to large—are now incorporating benefits plans with more flexibility to reflect the contemporary realities and demands of the changing Canadian workforce.

It wasn’t that long ago—about 15 years, reports the Post—that group benefits plans were rooted in a one-size-fits-all mentality and were only administered by the traditional insurers. Having seen one plan, you’d “pretty well seen them all,” says the Post. Not any more.

Customized Benefits Solutions

“The evolution of employee health and benefits plans,” reports the Post, now involves “offering far more than traditional health, dental, and vision.” Small employers are discovering that employee compensation “isn’t just pay.” Group benefits plans can now be customized to reflect an employer’s compensation philosophy and specific business objectives: reward employee loyalty, recognize achievement, and encourage retention.

The Administration Services Only (ASO) Plan Advantage

Once only the domain of large companies, ASO plans now give small and midsized business owners access to customized group benefits plans flexible enough to meet employers’ operational needs while providing more choices for employees.

“Benefits plans are becoming more complex to meet the needs, wants, and expectations of that workforce,” says the Post. Businesses of all scales are trending towards “increased flexibility [and] more choice within benefits programs.”

Employees are individuals within a workforce of diverse demographics. A customized employee benefits plan tells your employees that you see them as individuals. ASO plans can be customized for the groups within your group. Consider three examples:

By Employee Levels
Employees of different rank, years of service, and credentials are compensated differently, so why should their benefits be identical? Employers can adjust benefits to reflect different categories of expertise and seniority.

By Stage of Life
An empty-nest VP is no longer concerned about extensive orthodontia coverage, but needs an additional vision allowance. The Post calls this trading “money from one bucket into another.” Let them choose.

By Performance
ASO plans offer employers the ability to link employee performance to more flexible benefits based on the employer’s compensation philosophy. Raising the Healthcare Spending Account (HCSA) limit for sales teams that exceed targets, for example.

More and more, we at The Benefits Trust are seeing, as the Post accurately reports, “a move toward even more personalized benefits plans” that mutually benefit employers and employees.

>> To discover more about the evolution of group benefits plans, see our free informative whitepaper entitled, “Why You Should Consider a Budgeted ASO Group Benefits Plan for Your Entrepreneurial Company.”

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