What is an Employee Benefits Program?

An employee benefits program is an employer sponsored program designed to offer health, wellness, and financial benefits to employees.  Examples of benefits may include but are not limited to:

  • Group Life, Critical Illness, and Disability insurance
  • Dental coverage
  • Medical/Prescription drugs coverage
  • Vision/Eye care
  • Paramedical coverage (ex: massage, chiropractor, physiotherapy etc.)
  • Group TFSA, RRSP, with potential employer matching

Employee benefit plans can be tailored made to offer a comprehensive suite of perks to employees.

How can it benefit my company?

Here are the top 5 benefits of an employee benefits program:

Attracting Talent

When it comes to attracting employee’s in today’s competitive marketplace, in order to hire the best talent you must have a benefits program that is in line with what other companies in your industry are offering.

Retaining Employees

Studies have shown that these programs have been linked to reduced employee turnover ratio.  In fact, 4 out of 5 employees surveyed said that they would prefer an employee benefit program over a raise.  Many employees continue working solely because they value their plan so much.

Increasing Employee Loyalty

This is different from increasing employee retention because it specifically deals with the morale of your employees.  A plan that is specifically designed for your company’s unique needs and goals is sure to make your employees more dedicated to their jobs.  Nothing shows that you care for your employees more than a benefits program.  This will protect against lost productivity that may be the result of employees having a bad attitude.

The Health and Well Being of your Employee’s

Once again, this ties in with productivity.  Employees that are healthy both mentally and physically are more productive and engaged in their work.  Having a health and dental plan should reduce employee sick days, offering paramedical benefits like massage, chiropractor, and acupuncture will keep your employee in peak mental and physical condition so they can work hard.

Better Overall Performance

Studies show that 57% of private employers offer more than the required amount of benefits.  This means that having a comprehensive benefits program will put you ahead of 43% of your competition. Putting an employee benefits plan in place will give your employees more of a reason to care about the company, which should motivate them to do their best in whichever role they are currently in.

Setting up an employee benefits program is an investment in the long term success of your business and will allow you to attract, and retain the best talent possible, while keeping them healthy so they can do their best.

How can a Licensed Insurance Broker help me set up an employee benefits program?

It is important to note that it doesn’t cost anything to have an Easy Insurance broker working on your behalf.  Our brokers are paid by the insurance companies when a plan is put in place for your company.  You will never need to write a cheque to your benefits broker.

A licensed broker can help an organization set up an Employee Benefits by following this 3-step plan.

Step 1:  Identify the organizations objectives and budget regarding these benefits

  • Your business is a business and any investment including an employee benefits program needs to contribute to the overall objectives of your company.  A licensed insurance advisor can assist in this process by conducting an overview of the employee and employer needs.  For example, if one of the company objectives is to retain and attract great talent an assessment of the benefits offered by competing companies in your industry might be worth considering.
  • Equally important is determining the budget available for spending on benefits. If a benefits program exists an insurance broker can help to determine if the benefits being offered are being used or are generating the most value.  If they are not, the plan can be tailored so that the benefits being offered are the ones that employees are using.  This is very important because the rising cost of employee health insurance will greatly affect the benefits an employer can offer.
  • If there currently is no benefits program, the employer can work with a licensed broker to obtain quotes and tailor a plan for their organization.  At Easy Insurance, our brokers are independent so they do not work for an insurance company instead they work for their clients and can shop the market to obtain the best value for you.

Step 2:  Conduct a Needs Assessment 

  • Getting employee input and feedback in the designing process for the employee benefits program has many advantages.  It helps create awareness, and appreciation of the new or existing benefits, and allows employees to get the most out of their group plan.
  • It will ensure that the benefits plan that is designed will provide the most value to the employee’s because it is based on what they need.
  • It will get the employee’s to buy-in helping to maximize the productivity benefits that can be expected from a plan like this.

Step 3: Periodically review and tweak the plan to maximize effectiveness

  • Plan’s are renewed annually, this provides a perfect opportunity to review how the plan is working and whether it is providing the expected benefits to both employers and employees.
  • An annual report of the claims experience will show what benefits employees are using and which benefits are not being used, by reducing investment in benefits that are not being used costs can be controlled to maximize value for employers.
  • Because the employee benefits market is very competitive, our brokers can always shop the market for their clients to make sure that they are getting the best possible return for their investment.

Cost Comparison

Take a look at this example comparing the cost difference between a raise and an employee benefits program:

Note: The samples below use the Payroll Deduction Tables – Ontario. The net results for other provinces will vary

A Comparison of Costs for the Employer

Raise Employee Benefits
Enhancement $1,050 $1,050
EI $30.87 N/A
CPP $51.98 N/A
WSIB* $22.99 N/A
Sales Tax** N/A $84
Payroll Tax $10.29 N/A
Total $1,166.13 $1,134

* Using industry average for 2003: 2.19%
** 8% Ontario Retail Sales Tax

The net impact: it costs the employer almost $30 more to implement a raise in pay as opposed to employee benefits. However, the real difference is found when comparing the benefits to the employee.

A Comparison of Costs for the Employee

Raise Employee Benefits
Enhancement $1,050 $1,050
EI $22,05 N/A
CPP $51.98 N/A
Income Tax Deducted* $362.40 N/A
Total $613.57 $1,050

*This is the total additional tax deducted over 12 pay periods

As you can see, putting an employee benefits program in place can provide more value for employees as compared to a raise.  It also can save employers money compared to a raise while providing additional benefits such as improved employee retention, improved employee morale, and making it easier to attract high quality talent.

Click here to get in touch with us or book a quick consultation with one of our licensed advisors to see how they can help you design an benefits program tailored to your company’s unique situation