Published By: Morneau Shepell | January 18, 2021
Private sector companies in Canada have shown increasing interest in capital accumulation plans (CAPs) for a number of years and CAP assets under management continue to grow. However, the transition of these savings into decumulation products has not been entirely beneficial for retirees. In ‘CAP To The Future: Decumulation In CAP Plans,’ Michelle Loder and Christie Lambie, vice-presidents, DC solutions, at Morneau Shepell, look at the evolution of the decumulation landscape in Canada as a fundamental step forward in the direction of improved wellbeing for CAP participants at all stages of the journey to retirement.
Published By: TAMMY BRAZIER | December 22, 2020
With the way Canadians work changing dramatically during the pandemic, the lines have blurred between home and work life, says Tammy Brazier, senior director of corporate and business development with GoodLife Fitness. Nearly five million more Canadians started working from home, and while many employees enjoy the flexibility, there can be drawbacks when it comes to mental and physical health. In the article ‘Corporate Wellness Turns To Virtual Progamming,’ she says the unintended effects of remote work during the pandemic quantifies the mental and physical challenges with 85 per cent saying mental health issues at work affect their home life in terms of sleep deprivation (40 per cent), poor physical health (35 per cent), reduced happiness at home (33 per cent), challenges with family relationships (30 per cent), and isolation from friends (28 per cent). However, some employers are providing more supports and information to help their workforce navigate the crisis. Corporate wellness programs have changed to offer more virtual programming, online classes, and employee events with COVID safety protocols.
Published By: CHRIS PRYCE | December 11, 2020
The news that the Pfizer vaccine has already been administered to UK citizens and is weeks away from our Canadian shores is encouraging, says Chris Pryce, founder and president of Human Capital Benefits. However, employers and employees may have to tackle the legal requirement that workplace health and safety polices be put in place to protect workers from bodily harm and the right to choose whether to be vaccinated, he says in the article ‘Vaccines And The Workplace ‒ Let The Battles Begin.’
Published By: benefits and pensions monitor | November 26, 2020
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on March 11, many employees have been working from home. In fact, Zoom Video Communications reports, this situation led to an explosion from 10 million to over 200 million daily participants within three months. (Source). However, in the Zoom workplace era, managers will need to start rethinking the idea of mental illness as a result of the environment people are now working in, says Ben Aston, an online media entrepreneur and founder of Black + White Zebra, in the article ‘When Zoom Is The Workplace: Facts About Remote Work And Mental Health.’
Published By: DEREK W. DOBSON | October 27, 2020
Pensions have become a tug-of-war between guaranteed pensions for life and retirement savings arrangements such as group RRSPs, says Derek W. Dobson, chief executive officer and plan manager at the CAAT Pension Plan. And although defined benefits pension plans are still highly valued by employees, they have become a riskier option for employers, he says in ‘The Power Of Plus’ article. This, in part, explains why its DBPlus plan is attracting interest from plan sponsors across the country.
Published By: Medavie Blue Cross | September 30, 2020
While a global pandemic may have served as a catalyst for much of the transformational change that many employers are experiencing, giving plan members greater flexibility within their benefit plans is necessary now more than ever before, says Derek Weir, manager, optional benefits, at Medavie Blue Cross. In the article ‘The Future Is Flexible: Modernizing Health Benefit Plans Of Tomorrow, Today,’ he says providing health benefits to members with greater choice and control over their plans should be the primary driver for all improvements to what a modern health benefits plan looks like.
Published By: FAIZAL MITHA | September 22, 2020
Canadians employers have a long list of concerns as their employees return to the workplace. Physical distancing in the workplace and the mental health of their employees top the list of these, says Faizal Mitha, chief sales and innovation officer at HUB International in Canada. In ‘What To Consider In A COVID-19 World’, he says this makes it a more critical time for employers to seriously consider their options for greater employee support.
Published By: MICHELLE LODER & ANNE ANANDDAKOPAL | September 15, 2020
While governance activities for capital accumulation plans (CAPs) continue to gain momentum and attention in Canada, especially given the notable increase in membership in these types of programs at the expense of defined benefit plan membership and as it has proven itself to be an area of increased focus by regulators, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on market volatility, members’ financial wellbeing, and on overall wellbeing is prompting sponsors to re-examine and question whether their programs are fully optimizing their potential to deliver valued benefits for their workforce and how their governance frameworks may be leveraged to achieve superior results, say Michelle Loder, vice president, defined contribution solutions, and Anne Ananddakopal is a principal, defined contribution solutions, at Morneau Shepell. They say a governance framework can be leveraged to not just protect members and beneficiaries, but also to enhance the delivery of retirement benefits, capitalizing on opportunities to promote greater program efficiency without necessarily or automatically landing on the somewhat obvious solution of just contributing more.
Published By: Sabeen Purewall | July 15, 2020
While the similarities to COVID-19 and the 2008 market downturn likely ends here, given the unpredictability of whether there will be second or subsequent waves – which could wreak havoc on financial markets, Sabeen Purewall, director of business development at CWB Trust Services, says we now must accept that there will be a ‘next normal.’ This also means, he says in the article ‘Asset Servicing – Identifying The Importance Of A Tailored Custodian Partnership In Unprecedented Times,’ institutional investors should align themselves with a custodian partner that offers a fully integrated and automated systems with real-time reporting; is flexible in its service delivery; and has rigorous internal controls to provide accurate and timely reporting.
Published By: ANNE RISTIC & ANDREA L. ALLISTON | June 30, 2020
Plans to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown and re- turn to the workplace present special challenges for organi- zations and their internal and external legal advisors. Although both law and medical science have bearing on the decision to re-open the workplace, at heart each decision will be founded on the exer- cise of business judgment and risk oversight by business leaders in their own circum-stances.