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B.C. Employers: Affordable Employee Benefits Plan

May 6, 2017

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As a business owner, you know that great staff who are passionate about their job will mean success and profits. You may be worried about the cost of attracting and retaining great staff by offering employee benefits as part of their remuneration.

The real question is: Can you afford not to offer an employee benefits package?

Think about this for a moment. In order to properly sell your product or service, you had to have the right environment and equipment. You wouldn’t try cutting corners in areas that promote productivity and efficiency. While benefits may not be tangible, like a table saw or office building in the heart of a financial district, employee benefits are the last piece of the puzzle you need to have in place for maximum efficiency.

The best location in the city and the best equipment are not going to keep your customers happy if your staff are not properly compensated through salary and a suitable benefits plan. Unhappy staff members mean poor customer service and performance. Poor customer service means not maximizing your human capital and not realizing your full potential.

Think about benefits as an investment in the health of your most valuable asset. Think of employee benefits as what you need to increase profits and boost your brand. Your people are your greatest cheerleaders when they are happy, they will promote your company organically and perform at the highest level.

Here’s how you can afford to offer employee benefits

Employers can have their employee benefits designed to scale up as the company grows; there is no need to wait until you are a large company to offer benefits. There are many options to help you afford to offer benefits, including:

  • Co-Pay: You and your employees split the cost. Employees pay their portion via payroll deduction. The most common premium split is 50/50.
  • Deductibles: The employee pays a portion when a service is used. The deductible can be an annual dollar amount (once that amount is reached, the employee no longer has deductible fees for the year) or the deductible can be paid with each service.
  • Selection: Speak with a qualified employee benefit broker to ensure you are selecting the best mix of benefits for you group. If your employee base is made up of young and middle-aged professionals that have families, they will value a higher emphasis on health, dental and prescription medication benefits.
  • Employee Education: Your employees should be fully informed about their benefits so they can make the most cost-efficient choices. Premiums are tied to usage in addition to the general makeup of the group, so if half of your employees opt for non-essential massages all year long, you may see an increase in premiums upon renewal. While you do want your employees to enjoy their benefits, if cost is a factor, stress the importance of using benefits wisely.
  • HSA: Situations like the example above (employees using benefits for non-essential services) can be avoided by adding a health spending account, or HSA, to the benefit package. The HSA covers a list of predetermined expenses, making it flexible and easy for employees to use. The employee may wish to use HSA credits on massages, for example, or on additional dental or vision care if he or she maxes out the benefits before the end of the year. Some companies may wish to only offer an HSA and empower the employee to decide how best to use it.

The importance of using and experienced broker.

Employee benefits are important for both employers and employees, so this is not a decision to undertake lightly. Although they represent a huge ROI, employee benefits represent a small percentage of your annual payroll. One of the best ways to manage costs is to look at all your options – and that’s where a broker comes in.

Brokers, unlike agents, shop the market for you, and their services are free. Brokers are paid a commission on the products they sell. Agents, on the other hand, work for one company only and usually have quotas to fill. This puts pressure on them to sign you up for a benefit package even though they can only offer you a narrow selection.

To make sure your benefits are tailored to your company and your group of employees, speak with a broker. The broker will consult with his or her network of Canadian underwriters to find the group plan that aligns with your needs and your budget. Brokers do not have quotas to fill or one single employer to satisfy, so the information you get is always unbiased.

Remember, however, the choice is always in your hands. If you feel unduly pressured by an agent or a broker, you are not obligated to purchase anything. Your relationship with your insurance professional should be long-lasting, and it should evolve alongside your growing company. Make sure you team with the broker that makes you feel heard, valued and comfortable.

Elevate your company today

Why wait? Our brokers are ready and willing to support you in moving your company to its next exciting level by helping you offer a benefit package that will attract and retain great employees. Don’t put off the power of what employee benefits can do for you company. Call today for a stronger company tomorrow.

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