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Step Benefits Group http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com Fri, 15 Apr 2016 04:13:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 When Should People Start Building Their Retirement Savings? http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/when-should-people-start-building-their-retirement-savings/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/when-should-people-start-building-their-retirement-savings/#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2016 10:22:41 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=541 As soon as you start earning paychecks, which should be in your teens and 20s, you should ideally start saving for your retirement. Savings are often considered a journey, not a sprint; so the earlier you can start contributing to your future savings, the more time your money has to grow, and the better off … Continue reading When Should People Start Building Their Retirement Savings?

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As soon as you start earning paychecks, which should be in your teens and 20s, you should ideally start saving for your retirement. Savings are often considered a journey, not a sprint; so the earlier you can start contributing to your future savings, the more time your money has to grow, and the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Saving For Retirement

Unfortunately things are not so straightforward!

Young people in their 20s often have to deal with many financial costs, including paying off student debt and credit card debt, and when they manage to save, it is for travel, a car, or a down payment on their first piece of property; so saving for retirement is usually nowhere near the top of their list of priorities.

It is unfortunate that many young adults don’t know how to manage money, yet they’re quickly accepted for credit cards the instant they turn 18. The result is a huge credit card debt that interferes with their future plans. But with early financial education, people can make sound financial decisions and start saving at an early age.

Why you need to start saving for retirement as soon as possible

Financially savvy young adults recognize the merits of starting a long-term savings plan, because they have decades to compound the amount.

Compound interest, or interest on interest, can have remarkable results when you start saving early. Consider making a single $10,000 contribution into a tax-free savings account (TFSA) at the age of 18. By the time you’re 65, that investment will have grown to $257,000, assuming a seven percent return during the period.

Basically, the amount doubles every 11 years. So by starting early, you have the advantage of doubling your money a number of times.

TFSA vs RRSP

When you start saving early, it is better to do it via a tax-free savings account than a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) because your 20s are likely to be low-earning years and you won’t benefit as much from the tax break offered by RRSPs to high-income earners.

Educating Young People on Financial Planning

Many young adults don’t put much thought and energy into saving for retirement, but that makes it all the more important that they be educated on investing, financial planning and risk. Generally, you should make investments depending on your stage of life, and younger people have a chance to take greater risks. For instance, investing in a two-percent guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) while in your 20s does not give you the potential upside you’re entitled to.

If you’re still grappling with your finances and haven’t started saving for retirement, consider getting professional financial advice. The professional help will guide you towards creating a financial plan that makes you aware of what is happening with your money at all times.

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Notable Changes In CPP And OAS http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/notable-changes-in-cpp-and-oas/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/notable-changes-in-cpp-and-oas/#comments Tue, 19 Jan 2016 09:58:03 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=506 Employment and Social Development Canada announced that Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) would enjoy additional benefits starting 1st January 2016. Here are the key points regarding this announcement: Those already receiving CPP benefits will get a 1.2 percent boost. The maximum CPP retirement benefit, for the year 2016, for new recipients … Continue reading Notable Changes In CPP And OAS

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Employment and Social Development Canada announced that Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) would enjoy additional benefits starting 1st January 2016. Here are the key points regarding this announcement:

Changes In CPP And OAS

  • Those already receiving CPP benefits will get a 1.2 percent boost.
  • The maximum CPP retirement benefit, for the year 2016, for new recipients aged 65 will be $1,092.50 per month, which is a $330 increment compared to the 2015 maximum amount.
  • OAS benefits, which comprise the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the basic OAS pension, and the Allowances, will be increased by 0.1 percent for the first quarter of 2016. So, starting January 1, 2016, the basic OAS pension will be $570.62 per month, compared to the previous $569.95.

The Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, mentioned in a press release that the government is committed to improving the income security of seniors by not only increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for the elderly living alone, but also indexing Old Age Security (OAS) and GIS payments to a new senior’s price index and calling off the increase in the age of eligibility – the proposed age of 67 from 65 – for OAS.

The new CPP rates should be in effect for the whole of 2016 (until 31 December), though OAS benefits will still be reviewed quarterly (April, July, October, and January), and revised accordingly to reflect the rise in cost of living as assessed by the CPI.

While the CPP and OAS benefits are not indexed at the same time, both are adjusted based on the cost of living as measured by the CPI over a given year.

Facts about the Relevant Institutions

  • The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) seek to improve the quality of life of seniors in Canada by providing a modest base upon which they can build additional income for retirement.
  • The Quebec Pension Plan (in Quebec) or the CPP, receives its funding via contributions by the self-employed, Canadian workers, and their employers, as well as via investment earnings on the Plan’s funds. Besides retirement benefits, the Plan seeks to provide survivor, death, disability, and children’s benefits.
  • The OAS program receives its funding via general tax revenues, which enables it to provide a basic monthly income for Canadian seniors. In the period 2014-2015, 5.6 million individuals received $44.1 billion in OAS benefits.

The monthly disability pension is $1,290; the survivor’s pension for those under 65 is $593.62; for those aged 65 and above it’s $655.50; and the death benefit $2,500. Changes have also been made to the maximum monthly old age security benefit amounts starting January 1, 2016.

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Recent Changes To SIP&Ps http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/investments/recent-changes-to-sipps/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/investments/recent-changes-to-sipps/#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:51:27 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=501 Starting January 1, 2016, plan administrators of Ontario registered pension plans have had to submit the statement of investment policies and procedures (SIP&P) electronically via the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)’s Pension Services Portal. Other changes to SIP&P that became effective this year include: The requirement for administrators to include specific information in their … Continue reading Recent Changes To SIP&Ps

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Starting January 1, 2016, plan administrators of Ontario registered pension plans have had to submit the statement of investment policies and procedures (SIP&P) electronically via the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)’s Pension Services Portal.

Changes To SIP&Ps

Other changes to SIP&P that became effective this year include:

  • The requirement for administrators to include specific information in their plan member annual statements, as well as in biennial retired and former member statements with regard to the SIP&P, including how members can access it.
  • The guidance issued by the FSCO on the content of the SIP&P regarding the DC components of plans or member-directed DC pension plans.
  • The requirement that plan administrators ensure their SIP&P reflects the FSCO’s expectations in both the DC components of plans and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors before the March 1, 2016 filing deadline. With regard to the ESG factors, the filing should state whether these factors are incorporated into the investment policies of the plan, and if so, how they have been included. That said, the rules do not require the plan to adopt an ESG program or policy.
  • The SIP&P for all new plans registered starting January 1, 2016 must be filed within 60 days from the date of plan registration. Additionally, amendments to the SIP&P must be filed within 60 days from the date of plan registration.
  • The SIP&P does not require annual filing. Instead, administrators only need to file amendments after the initial filing as per the deadlines mentioned above.
  • Plan assets must be invested as per the conditions in the SIP&P, which must be compliant with the FIR – federal investment rules – as a matter of good plan governance.
  • Starting 1st July, 2016, administrators will be required to include prescribed information about the SIP&P in their statements to both former and retired members.
  • Besides the legislatively required changes, two investment guidance notes (IGN) were issued by FSCO in October 2015: the IGN-004, which provides background information and guidelines on the ESG factors to aid plan administrators in fulfilling the Pension Benefits Act requirement to incorporate a statement in the SIP&P regarding this; and the IGN-003, which sets out FSCO expectations with regard to the content of SIP&Ps for DC – defined contribution- plans.
  • With regard to IGN-003, FSCO expects administrators to incorporate the following information in the SIP&P:
    • Permitted asset classes where investment funds can be selected
    • General investment principles – like the administrator’s perception on active and passive management
    • The default investment option for member accounts if no selection is made
    • Criteria and processes to be followed during selection, evaluation, and termination of investment funds and managers
    • Associated party transactions
    • Plan expenses and investment fees pertaining to the DC plan

Lastly, IGN-005 was added to address the content of SIP&Ps in draft for consultation, outlining the content, filing, and disclosure protocol for SIP&Ps and expectations of the FSCO for plan administrators in establishing filings as per their fiduciary obligations.

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What Are The Hidden Risks Associated With Low-Volatility Stocks? http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/investments/what-are-the-hidden-risks-associated-with-low-volatility-stocks/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/investments/what-are-the-hidden-risks-associated-with-low-volatility-stocks/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2016 09:52:33 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=492 The arena of exchange-traded funds has seen rapid growth of low-volatility ETFs owing to the ability of investors to participate in the stock market upside while limiting the down risk simultaneously. However, low-volatility equity portfolios based on stable companies have been disappointing due to their hidden risks. Some of these risks that contribute to the … Continue reading What Are The Hidden Risks Associated With Low-Volatility Stocks?

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The arena of exchange-traded funds has seen rapid growth of low-volatility ETFs owing to the ability of investors to participate in the stock market upside while limiting the down risk simultaneously. However, low-volatility equity portfolios based on stable companies have been disappointing due to their hidden risks.

Low-Volatility Stock Risks

Some of these risks that contribute to the poor performance of low-volatility stocks include:

  1. The Heavy Sector Concentration

    A recent report released by Unigestion, a leader in the provision of tailor-made investment solutions for families and institutions, revealed that a large percentage of low-volatility stocks belongs to non-cyclical industries such as telecom and utilities.

  2. Rising Interest Rates

    Low-volume stocks are characterized by short interest rates, which means that they tend to get risky if interest rates go up. High-volatile or cyclical stocks, on the other hand, exhibit a long interest rates profile that would be beneficial if interest rates increased.

  3. Investing in Stable Stocks

    In the past, conservative trading sectors such as utilities and pharmaceuticals have been the most exposed to the risk of interest rates acceleration due to the non-cyclical demand for healthcare, utilities, telecom, and tobacco. Still, utilities suffer the greatest losses when interest increases because regulators tend to limit the prices they can charge, only adjusting the rates with a lag after the rising interest rates have eroded the profitability of utilities.

    The interest risk for a bond portfolio can be easily reduced because the sensitivity or duration of interest rates is directly related to the timing of cash flows, allowing bond investors to absorb the impact of rising rates by simply swapping out long for short duration bonds. The options for reducing high interest-rate risk, however, for stock investors are not very clear.

    The cyclical durable goods, business equipment, manufacturing, and energy sectors, on the other hand, usually move in a similar direction as interest rates.

How to address these risks

It is unfortunate that reducing past volatility is not sufficient to create a portfolio with low future downside risk, as past volatility can conceal some additional risks that are not self-evident in more conventional stock assessments. Additionally, research shows that portfolio diversification does not guarantee risk mitigation either.

Rather, scrutinizing the structural interest rates risk implanted in an equity portfolio is critical, especially in portfolios built using past volatility estimates. Investors concerned about rising rates should try a moderation approach, like paring back on high-dividend strategies, though it is not a good idea to avoid dividend-paying stocks or limit high low-volatility strategies.

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How To Plan Your Retirement http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/how-to-plan-your-retirement/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/how-to-plan-your-retirement/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2015 09:40:40 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=488 Retirement planning is now more important than ever. Public purses are coming under increased strain and as a result, governments have raised the age of retirement.Twenty years ago retirement was expected at the age of 60, now this has risen to 65. In Canada, this is expected to increase further, so what can you do … Continue reading How To Plan Your Retirement

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Retirement planning is now more important than ever. Public purses are coming under increased strain and as a result, governments have raised the age of retirement.Twenty years ago retirement was expected at the age of 60, now this has risen to 65. In Canada, this is expected to increase further, so what can you do to ensure you can comfortably retire at the age you want?

Planning For Retirement

This depends on a variety of factors, but some of the most significant factors are the type of lifestyle you expect to have, the amount of money you want to save and the specific financial plans you have to get there.

Desired Lifestyle

Take stock of yourself and your life. Ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you wish to have. Would you like to travel more? Would you like to remain active in various organizations? What will your state of health likely be? Would you like to leave an inheritance? Do you want to live in the same house or move into a smaller one? All of these lifestyle choices have costs attached to them; therefore you need to figure out how much it will cost you to maintain that lifestyle.

Savings Vehicles

There are a range of retirement savings plans available. They can generally be divided into private, group and government sponsored retirement plans. Each plan has its pros and cons. For example, some retirement plans are tax-deferred while others are not. Some retirement plans invest in aggressive growth markets that entail more risk, while others are more conservative. If you already have a retirement savings account, monitor it to see where the money is being invested.

Public Retirement Plans

Government sponsored plans such as the Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security offer potential benefits for those who qualify. These plans can supplement your current efforts for retirement so check their websites to see if you qualify.

Have an appropriate strategy

How much you need to start saving and at what rate depends on where you are currently and where you wish to be.

If you are below the age of 40 then you still have time on your side. This means you can start early and benefit from investing over a long period of time. If you are over 40 you can (and should) still plan ahead, but your strategy may have to be different from someone who is younger than you.

Speak with a benefits corporation about the type of coverage you need

There are many qualified benefits planners out there who can help you find the necessary insurance to keep you healthy while protecting your finances, should you find yourself in need of medical care. Doing your due diligence and choosing a company that understands the needs of retired citizens is essential in choosing one that will be able to accommodate your retirement goals.

You should also try to educate yourself as much as you can on your own. Read books, sign up for seminars and browse online to see what types of health care options are available to you after the working chapter of your life has come to a close. There is no shortage of material out there to give you the information you need on how to plan for retirement, and the team at Step Benefits Group is always here and happy to help. Contact us today for more information.

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Upcoming Employee Benefits Trends For 2016 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/employee-benefits/upcoming-employee-benefits-trends-for-2016/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/employee-benefits/upcoming-employee-benefits-trends-for-2016/#comments Wed, 16 Dec 2015 09:58:25 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=483 The cost of healthcare is rising, but consumers are also demanding greater flexibility in managing their health with the use of modern communication. These are some of the employee benefits trends to look out for in 2016, plus a few others: Technology Tools The increased use of online resources to evaluate and assess health care … Continue reading Upcoming Employee Benefits Trends For 2016

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The cost of healthcare is rising, but consumers are also demanding greater flexibility in managing their health with the use of modern communication.

Benefit Trends 2016

These are some of the employee benefits trends to look out for in 2016, plus a few others:

Technology Tools

The increased use of online resources to evaluate and assess health care has been proven by a recent survey in Canada which revealed over 52 percent of healthcare consumers search online for information on healthcare.

Over the last two years, the number of consumers using technological devices to monitor their health has risen from 17 percent to 28 percent, and more than 60 percent of technology users say that these devices have impacted the way they behave.

Analytics Tools

Employers are making much greater use of healthcare analytics to evaluate whether their current healthcare plans are the most cost effective. Monitoring claims data as well as overall usage over a period of time helps employers design better plans and save money. All the trends indicate that there is going to be more of this type of planning in 2016.

Customised Care

Employers are also expected to provide more customised healthcare plans for their staff. Employees can voluntarily access additional benefits that are relevant to their stage in life, whether they are beginning a new career or transitioning into retirement. Some of these benefits can include student loan assistance, paid parental leave and retirement planning.

Whether you’re starting a new job, are heading into retirement, or in charge of the healthcare insurance needs for an entire organization, it’s essential that you’re well educated on all possibilities emerging in the upcoming year. For more information, contact the Step Benefits Group team today!

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Choosing The Best Retirement Plan http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/choosing-the-best-retirement-plan/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/retirement-plans/choosing-the-best-retirement-plan/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2015 09:48:55 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=475 When it comes to retirement, many people are unsure of how to begin saving. With a retirement plan in place you can choose what you wish to invest in, figure out exactly how much you need to save and have a set age in mind for when you want to stop working. Choosing the right … Continue reading Choosing The Best Retirement Plan

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When it comes to retirement, many people are unsure of how to begin saving. With a retirement plan in place you can choose what you wish to invest in, figure out exactly how much you need to save and have a set age in mind for when you want to stop working.

Good Retirement Plan

Choosing the right retirement plan comes down to a few select factors, so we’ve come up with a list to help you choose the best retirement plan for you:

  • Your age:
    The earlier you start your retirement fund, the less you’ll have to put away from each paycheque. Keeping a certain amount aside from each paycheque isn’t easy, especially when there are many important life events you need money for such as paying off a student loan, setting up a child’s education fund, mortgages, credit card and car payments, weddings, etc.

    These things add up so figure out what you can spare and be realistic. Putting away 20% of every paycheque may seem like the perfect amount to set you up for retirement but it may not be possible. Paying off debts is an important part of getting ready for retirement, so ensure that you are also managing your debt, too.

  • The type of retirement you want:
    Over the course of your working life you will become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. In order to maintain that lifestyle well into your retirement, you will need to save accordingly.

    Let’s say you maintain a two-car household. When you retire it may be beneficial to only have one vehicle. If you take lavish vacations to escape the cold Canadian winters, you will need to save more for your retirement if you wish to continue vacationing to tropical destinations after you stop working. Basically, if you want to maintain your existing lifestyle when you retire, you need to save proportionately.

  • The federal government:
    There are many retirement programs available through the government like the CPP (Canada Pension Plan), OAS (Old Age Security) and GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement). You may be entitled to these benefits once you retire. Look into them now to see what could be on the horizon, as this will also help dictate how much you need to save.
  • Your company and your financial institution:
    Your employer may have a retirement plan in place. A popular plan comes in the form of an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). You can also get an RRSP through your bank or financial advisor. Additionally, there are TSFA’s (Tax Free Savings Accounts) and other financial programs available that help you save for retirement.

    A company retirement plan can also be a beneficial idea. When you are enrolled in your employer’s plan, you don’t worry about how much of each paycheque goes to into the plan because the deductions are made at the source.

Putting away money for your retirement isn’t something you can do overnight. It is a long-term commitment that when done properly can set you up for a relaxing and easy retirement. If you have questions about choosing the right plan, contact the Step Benefits Group. We can help!

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How Important Are Employee Benefit Plans? http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/employee-benefits/how-important-are-employee-benefit-plans/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/employee-benefits/how-important-are-employee-benefit-plans/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2015 09:32:01 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=472 As an employer you understand that in order for your business to thrive, you need to hire quality employees. Once you’ve hired quality employees you need to foster a positive working environment. A great way to create an environment where your employees are content with their jobs and actually want to go to work everyday … Continue reading How Important Are Employee Benefit Plans?

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As an employer you understand that in order for your business to thrive, you need to hire quality employees. Once you’ve hired quality employees you need to foster a positive working environment. A great way to create an environment where your employees are content with their jobs and actually want to go to work everyday is by offering a comprehensive benefits plan.

Employee Benefit Plans

How do benefits help employees?

When you offer benefits to your employees it creates a lower turnover rate because they know they are protected in case of emergency. For instance, if someone on your staff experiences a sudden illness, they will be covered by their employee benefits package and will be able to afford the medicine and treatment needed.

Many recent high school and university graduates who are just now entering the workforce look for companies that provide their employees with benefits packages with entry-level wages instead of higher salaries with no benefits. In Canada, although we have a health care system in place that is available to everyone in the country, employees with disabilities, or illnesses such as diabetes or depression that require daily medication, are more inclined to want to work for companies that offer benefits. It gives them peace of mind and in turn, increases productivity.

How do benefits help employers?

When you run a company, no matter the size, your goal is to produce a quality product or offer a much needed service. You cannot do that if you do not have qualified employees who actually care about what they’re doing.

In order to help make your employees enjoy their jobs, you need to provide them with a sense of security. By offering a benefits plan that includes medical and, if possible, dental and vision coverage, you are letting your employees know that you care about their wellbeing even when they are not at work. Obviously, you would prefer healthy employees that never take sick days, however, that is widely impossible.

When you give your employees a comprehensive benefits package that covers them and their families you are offering a sense of security. This helps nurture a creative and productive work environment at a low-cost to your organization. Premiums are generally tax deductible as a corporation expense, leading to savings for you and increased output from your employees.

The bottom line is this: Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, benefits plans are the key to fostering a positive work environment with less employee turnover and higher productivity. Benefits packages go a long way to protect your employees and your company’s future.

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The Importance Of Individual Insurance http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/insurance/the-importance-of-individual-insurance/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/insurance/the-importance-of-individual-insurance/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 09:54:28 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=427 Life can change in an instant – you want to be best prepared for life’s many uncertainties. Most people know about insurance – as it’s everywhere – auto insurance, life insurance, mortgage insurance, home insurance – the list goes on and on, but not everyone knows exactly what these types of insurance actually cover, how … Continue reading The Importance Of Individual Insurance

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Life can change in an instant – you want to be best prepared for life’s many uncertainties. Most people know about insurance – as it’s everywhere – auto insurance, life insurance, mortgage insurance, home insurance – the list goes on and on, but not everyone knows exactly what these types of insurance actually cover, how they work and how they can help you.

 Individual Insurance

Let’s start off by answering the most important questions:

What is insurance? It’s risk coverage – it can be purchased by a company or a person.

What does it cover? These days there is insurance coverage for just about anything.

Why is it important? It is extremely valuable and important to companies, individuals and society in general. For an individual, insurance is important because it provides you less stress, more peace of mind, security and it encourages you to save (life insurance).

  • Less stress, more peace of mind
  • When you have insurance you are able to rest a little bit easier in knowing that you have coverage. You will have ease in knowing that your family, assets and health will be taken care of if something unexpected was to happen to you. You will also have financial security, in knowing that your insurance will be able to cover the costs of things such as funeral expenses, time off of work or health care related costs.

  • Security
  • The main purpose of insurance is to give you security. If you get in a car accident and wreck your car or if your home is destroyed by fire or inclement weather, the financial burden isn’t solely placed on you.

  • Savings
  • This one only really applies to people who have life insurance – when you pay into this type of policy, it is a combination of saving and investing. For more details, speak with an insurance specialist.

It is a smart idea to look into individual insurance if you haven’t done so already – plan for the future – you never know what life has in store for you and you want to be ready to deal with it. We provide individual insurance services such as Universal Life Insurance, Mortgage Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance and much more. Contact us to set up individual insurance for you!

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3 Employee Benefit Trends We Saw In 2015 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/employee-benefits/3-employee-benefit-trends-we-saw-in-2015/ http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/blog/employee-benefits/3-employee-benefit-trends-we-saw-in-2015/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:49:59 +0000 http://www.stepbenefitsgroup.com/?p=426 Whether you are an employer or employee, you probably know the importance and value of a good employee benefits plan. Employers offering benefit plans want their employees to have a higher level of amenities and advantages available to them, which will set them up for success. But sometimes, employees want to make their own decisions, … Continue reading 3 Employee Benefit Trends We Saw In 2015

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Whether you are an employer or employee, you probably know the importance and value of a good employee benefits plan.

Employee Plan

Employers offering benefit plans want their employees to have a higher level of amenities and advantages available to them, which will set them up for success. But sometimes, employees want to make their own decisions, and as such we have seen some changes in employee benefit plans landscape.

Highlighted below are the top 3 trends:

  1. Wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular.
  2. If you have a well designed and properly administered program, it can help reduce employer premiums and help to promote a productive and healthy workforce. Employees who feel better work better. It is a good idea to start looking into wellness plans that will help your workforce to be in the best possible shape in both mind and body.

  3. Voluntary Benefits: letting the employee make the decisions.
  4. Not everyone will want to be a part of the standard benefits plan. With voluntary plans the employee pays all of the costs. The employees can choose the right voluntary plan based on their current situation.

  5. Health care spending accounts can work for your company.
  6. It is a pre-determined amount of money that is provided to employees in January of each year. It provides coverage for dental and medical expenses. Employees submit claims and they are reimbursed similarly to a regular benefits plan.

At Step Benefits Group, we provide the following services for employee benefit plans:

  • Creating benefit plans that are cost-effective and sustainable
  • Full market reviews
  • Annual renewal negotiations
  • Plan design and cost containment strategies to minimize financial risk
  • Developing managed care programs to manage health, dental, short and long-term disability claims
  • Proactive claims reporting
  • Solutions to meet regulatory, governance and administrative objectives
  • Assisting in union environments with collective agreements and negotiations
  • Health Care Spending Accounts
  • Health and Welfare Trusts
  • Employee Assistance Plans
  • Wellness Plans
  • Sick Leave policy and procedure development

Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss your organization’s employee benefits plan. We can help you to revamp, revitalize and reevaluate your current plan and find ways to make it better for you and your employees.

The post 3 Employee Benefit Trends We Saw In 2015 appeared first on Step Benefits Group.

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