Articles

Zoom In The Workplace

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.’

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The Power Of Plus

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.

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The Future Is Flexible

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.

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Employers Have Options In A COVID-19 World

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.

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Now’s The Time To Challenge Your CAP Governance Approach

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.

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Identifying The Importance Of A Tailored Custodian Partnership In Unprecedented Times

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.

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A Roadmap For Navigating Return-To-Workplace Decisions

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.

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CPBI Turns 60

Published By: Benefits and Pensions Monitor | June 16, 2020

While reviewing the content for this commemorative presentation marking the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI), I realized that I have been around in the industry for almost as long as the CPBI. The change in name from the Canadian Pension and Benefits Conference to the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute took place in 1995. I arrived at Benefits and Pensions Monitor in 1997, almost two years exactly later.

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FSRA Offers New Approach

Published By: DAVID VINCENT | June 3, 2020

May 22 Ontario’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority published on its website a new ‘Approach’ entitled ‘Limitations on Commuted Value Transfers and Annuity Purchases (DB Pension Plans). It also provided new commentary in a Q&A (see Question 6 and 7) on whether the ‘market shock’ that began in March 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic should be taken into account in actuarial valuation reports prepared as of a date earlier than the market shock – for example, a valuation report as at December 31, 2019 (which would typically be required to be filed with FSRA nine months later, i.e. September 30).

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The Case For Virtual Care

Published By: Benefits and Pensions Monitor | May 11, 2020

Telemedicine has been a discussion point in recent years. Those across the healthcare spectrum have been extolling its virtues and lobbying for the necessary legislative changes to make it accessible to everyone across the Canada. However, necessity is the mother of invention and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it to the forefront. Mary-Lou MacDonald, national practice lead, health and performance, at HUB International, explains why this is an important benefit employers can offer in benefits plans in the article ‘The Changing Face Of Healthcare Choosing the Right Telemedicine Provider’

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