The group industry is now more concentrated than it has ever been. With most group benefit plans being provided through the “big three insurers,” creating a continual rise in costs where employee benefit plans are concerned, it is important to consider the cost savings which can be achieved by having us review and market your Group Benefits and Pension Plans. Monitoring the plan on an ongoing basis is the most effective way of controlling costs. We offer an ongoing monitoring of the usage of your group and will make recommendations throughout the year to help you control costs if they seem to be increasing beyond reason. You should not have to wait to hear the bad news at your plan’s scheduled renewal. By that time it is too late to do anything to control claims. We advise throughout the year and will put in place the required changes to bring your plan back under control after consultation with you.
Beyond simply monitoring the claims and costs under your plan, our offices are constantly available to investigate claim inquiries on behalf of employees, as well as any other administration questions that may arise. With insurance companies becoming vast and anonymous, JSJ places more focus on client support than ever. This added benefit creates less hassle for the plan administrator who would otherwise be forced to contact the insurance company directly.
With emphasis on service and keeping your needs as an employer in mind, JSJ not only keeps your costs in mind, but also helps you to tailor a benefits plan to your needs. Does your current Benefits Consultant do that?
Group RRSP, Savings Programs
More and more employers are offering additional benefit programs to their employees – a group savings plan. In helping to ensure the retirement comfort and stability of your workforce, we can present you with flexible options such as:
- Group Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP)
- Registered Pension Plans
- Deferred Profit Sharing Plan
- Non-registered Savings Plan
Each type of plan has specific goals and we can work with you to determine the best vehicle for you and your employees.
Depth In An Employee Benefits Plan
Executive Disability Plan
The problem encountered by most executives is that if they were to become disabled the group benefits will only pay a benefit to a maximum of 66% to 70% which could be fully taxable. This is usually not enough income for an executive. The definition of disability under the group benefits plan is very stringent and can often limit an executive’s ability to collect benefits. To solve this problem, an executive can be taken out of the group plan and an executive disability plan can be instituted to provide a much better long term disability benefit where the definition is very clear and concise and the executive will receive full benefits from this disability plan.
The purpose is also to create a more tax effective product by allowing the cost of the plan to be tax deductible to the limited company as an expense. The benefit, if the employee becomes disabled, is taxable to the employee when received. This is why the Canada Revenue Agency allows tax deductibility of the premium. Effective tax planning and certain “tax savings” can be accomplished.
The second purpose of an executive disability plan is to provide the company with the funds required to hire a replacement for the disabled executive. Most executives have a salary continuation plan in their package and this benefit replaces that outflow of cash by providing the necessary income from the insurance company which frees up the income, which the company may have felt obligated to pay, to be used to hire a replacement. The executive, if he or she is a business owner, will probably wish to continue to have a “hands on” approach to the business even after hiring a replacement in order to protect their investment in the business. Under group plans this is not possible as the benefits are based on very stringent factors.
Group Critical Illness Insurance
With Long and/or Short Term Disability packages most often a standard component in the Employee Benefits Plan, an effective way to add value to the plan and complement the disability benefits provided is to include a Group Critical Illness benefit. Group Insurance providers are seeing the needs of the clientele changing, and thus are changing to meet those needs.
A critical illness benefit offered to employees allows for the maintenance of a lifestyle for both the employee and their family, while recovering from a critical illness (heart attack, stroke, cancer, etc) covered by the plan. A fact that can not be noted enough is that more and more individuals are surviving these illnesses, and are returning to work. A benefit such as this would give the employee additional peace of mind that should they ever contract an illness, there would be a tax-free lump sum benefit available to them to cover expenses while they are unable to work, or seek treatment out of province.
Priority Care Health Insurance
A complement to Critical Illness Insurance, Priority Care Health Insurance provides timely access to health care services in the event of a critical illness, injury, or medical crisis. This feature offers a valuable second opinion service, medical record review and referral, as well as travel assistance while accessing treatment anywhere in North America.
This is a new service available in the market, and would add to any employee benefits plan, with a Critical Illness benefit, or as an alternative to.