Employers and the Rising Cost of Benefits

At Aurora Workplace Solutions, we are about creating brilliant futures by developing wealth security for businesses and individuals. As experts in the industry we keep on top of recent news including changes to relevant group benefit plans, retirement savings options, and guidelines and policies. We also keep our eyes open for informative articles we think are of interest to our current and potential clients.

There is a new survey out from Aon that shows while Canadian employers are highly concerned about the rising costs of group benefits (due to drug expenses), they still prioritize the productivity and engagement of their employees and recognize the importance that group benefits play in creating healthy employees and a healthy work environment.

Canadian group benefit sponsors were surveyed by Aon to identify their Top 10 benefits and workplace priorities. The results were:

Top 10 Group Benefits Priorities

  1. Escalating drug costs generally
  2. Escalating specialty drug costs in particular
  3. Escalating extended health costs generally
  4. Chronic illness, effect on plan costs
  5. Need to personalize employee benefits experience
  6. Rising payroll costs (e.g. minimum wage, CPP contributions)
  7. Compliance/governance obligations
  8. Cost-shifting – public to private
  9. Administrative hassle of employee benefits
  10. National Pharmacare discussions

Top 10 Workforce Priorities

  1. Employee productivity/engagement
  2. Employee wellness
  3. Attracting, retaining employees; developing skills for changing business environment
  4. Workplace mental health
  5. Employee financial wellness
  6. Family support obligations, effect on productivity and well-being
  7. Chronic illness, effect on productivity
  8. Multi-generational workforce
  9. Delayed retirement – productivity and performance challenges
  10. Delayed retirement – employees working past normal retirement age

“The key takeaway from our survey is that plan sponsors are keenly aware of the need to manage rising benefits costs, but they also put a high priority on ensuring their employees are engaged and healthy,” commented Aon Canadian health & benefits chief actuary Greg Durant.

Durant prefaced that although the top priorities sound contradictory, there are ways for employers to achieve a balance – they will just have to “think outside the box” in order to meet both their workforce objectives while creating value for their people. One suggested method to achieve this balance is to create wellness programs that could potentially reduce overall extended health costs.

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At Aurora Workplace Solutions we design & create custom group benefits plans that meet organization goals. Attracting and retaining quality employees is important and a good, solid, well thought out benefits plan can improve employee retention and their overall health and well being. Read more about our Group Benefits Plans or contact us today to get started!