By Ivan Vazquez
For those of us who are fortunate to have an employer who provides group benefits, the advantages are evident.
Having group benefits offered by your employer provides us with peace of mind about the possibility of unexpected health-care expenses such as prescription drugs, dental treatment or physiotherapy. It also provides a nice cushion in the case of a short-term disability.
In short, we feel better about working where we work, and with all else being equal, the type of benefits we get may be the deciding factor between working for one company rather than the other.
For employers, offering group benefits is a small, tax-deductible investment that will yield great returns in many ways. A good benefit package will boost staff morale, productivity, increase your attractiveness as an employer, and enhance the corporate image of your business.
Your investment in a benefit package may actually reduce your overall business expenses by decreasing employee turnover and consequently avoiding the costs associated with hiring and training new personnel.
Health and Wealth
If you include retirement savings in your benefit package, not only will you meet the health needs of your employees, but you will be providing a way for them to prepare for their retirement. Employers can do their employees a big favour by offering some form of retirement savings plan within a benefit package.
Roughly only 38 per cent of all employees in Canada have retirement savings plans through their employers, and many Canadian workers do not have any retirement savings at all, so an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan may very well be the only retirement savings your employees will ever have.
Group retirement plans come in many forms. Some come in the form of group RRSPs with voluntary contributions. Some are pension plans with mandatory contributions by both the employee and the employer. Some group plans have as few as a couple of people, and some have hundreds of them. Many of these plans have the added value of professional advice by a dedicated team of financial specialists.
Whatever the case may be, talk to a financial and insurance professional, such as those with First Insurance Agencies, to find a tailor-made benefit package for your business.
Ivan Vazquez MBA, CFP is a Financial Planner with Qtrade Asset Management Inc. and a Wealth Management Specilaist with First Insurance Agencies. He can be reached at 250-334-3443. Financial planning services and mutual funds are offered through Qtrade Asset Management Inc., member MFDA.