Articles

Damage From Financial Stress Being Recognized

Published By: BPM | June 3, 2021

For employers, the damage caused by financial stress in their workforces is finally getting attention, says Alyssa Hariton, an associate partner for LifeWorks Inc. In the article ‘Helping Employees Achieve Financial Well-Being In The Digital Age,’ she says the link between employees’ financial health, their productivity, and an organization’s bottom line is now well documented. Employers are starting to recognize that they play a critical role, and have a vital interest, in the financial well-being of their employees.

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Mixed Message Sent On Cryptocurrencies

Published By: BPM | May 31, 2021

The government of Canada sends mixed messages about cryptocurrencies. Its website mentions that ‘digital currencies are not legal tender,’ says Kunal Sawhney, the founder and CEO of Kalkine. However, in the article ‘Cryptocurrencies Lack Utility, Can’t Be A Mainstream Economic Activity,’ he says recent developments in the digital currency realm in Canada contradict the message. For example, the Ontario Securities Commission has green-lit the world’s first bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) and a crypto mining firm has commissioned a site in Alberta to mine bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, although various stakeholders hold interests in cryptocurrencies, there are questions about whether these stakes are held in an economic activity that has utility.

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Effective COVID-19 Interventions For Organizations

Published By: BPM | May 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health concerns and pressure on individuals and organizations to cope with the emerging evidence that its impact will be felt for years to come, says Dr. Liz R. Scott, CEO of Organizational Solutions Inc. However, organizations can play a vital role in assisting with the reopening of society including the prevention of the anticipated mental health concerns. In the article ‘Effective COVID-19 Interventions For Organizations,’ she sets out the three main focus areas that need to be addressed: organizational, social, and individual.

 

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Disability Management Mitigates COVID Impact

Published By: BPM | May 11, 2021

There is an opportunity and need to ensure integrated and proven disability management strategies exist to assist employees that are experiencing either COVID-19 related or residual impact conditions, says Dr. Liz R. Scott, CEO of Organizational Solutions Inc. In the article ‘Disability Management Mitigates COVID Impact,’ she said the literature and evidence is projecting a mental health tsunami as a result of the pandemic, making workplace disability management even more essential. As the number of mental health issues continue to rise and conditions become prolonged due to lack of availability of urgent care, it is even more important to have a supportive work environment and a solid disability management program in place.

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2021 Federal Budget

Published By: BPM | April 21, 2021

The 2021 federal budget offers a little something for everyone. In ‘2021 Federal Budget,’ consultants from Willis Towers Watson highlight some of the proposals of interest. These range from giving defined contribution pension plan administrators the power to to correct contribution errors made in the preceding five years to a reaffirmation of the intent to proceed with national pharmacare, including proceeding with the previously announced plan to fund a program for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.

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Directors Need Tools And Knowledge

Published By: BPM | March 24, 2021

Company directors who sit on investment committees say they lack the knowledge and tools they need to meet their fiduciary responsibilities, says a survey by Global Manager Research, an investment manager and performance measurement database. Since investment governance is often not a priority, directors tend to rely heavily on investment managers rather than seek broader input via discussion and third-party reports. The issue is partly a lack of best practices they can use, writes Craig Harrison, president of Global Manager Research, in the article ‘Directors Concerned About Ability To Meet Duty.’

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Voluntary Benefits Attractive To Employees

Published By: BPM | March 8, 2021

Voluntary benefits are gaining in popularity as a way to make employee benefits packages more attractive without adding any costs. In ‘Voluntary Benefits Attractive To Employees,’ Karley Middleton, an association member benefits consultant with HUB International, explains how the needs for a broad demographic of employees for everything from travel discounts to pet insurance can be offered.

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Commodities Underappreciated

Published By: BPM | March 1, 2021

The return potential and portfolio diversification benefits of commodities are underappreciated, say Tim Pickering, CIO and founder, and Brennan Basnicki, director of Auspice Capital Advisors. In the article ‘Positioning For The 2020s Commodity Bull Market,’ they say this is due in part to the outperformance of the equity market over much of the last decade. It has resulted in the asset class being underutilized. As well, however, few investors appreciate that until the last decade, commodities have outperformed equities.

 

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Strategy Needed For High Cost Drugs

Published By: BPM | February 25, 2021

Drug plan managers have long struggled to address the management of high cost drugs which, on one hand, vastly improve claimants’ health outcomes and provide better quality of life, but, on the other hand, have an ever-expanding place in group health benefits’ budgets. In ‘Specialty Drug Strategy: How To Look Beyond The (High) Cost With A Five-Pillar Approach,’ Christine Than, a pharmacist and drug solution specialist at Aon, says while the use of specialty drugs, account for only for about one per cent of all drug claims, they represent approximately 35 per cent on average of total drug plan spend. When addressing specialty drug coverage, an employer’s drug cost containment strategy should be coherent with their total rewards strategy, she says.

 

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Assessing The Environment Cost Of eCommerce

Published By: Candriam | February 4, 2021

How can the environmental cost of the eCommerce boom be fairly assessed? David Czupryna, head of ESG client portfolio management at Candriam, says in 2017, they wrote that, depending on the situation, eCommerce could “represent the tip of the green IT iceberg” and “demonstrate the relevance of new technologies to the energy transition.” And while this growth is well underway, he says in the article ‘One Small Click, One Major Problem,’ the transition to new modes of social experiences (remote-working, social distancing, etc.) is not without effect from an environmental point of view, especially because of the link between consumer behavior and the different means of transport used.

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