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  • Breaking News | Small Biz Advisor
    intensive care This was certainly not our intention she wrote While Armstrong is at it why not call out the women who got cancer The parents of kids with asthma These rank among the nation s most expensive medical conditions The CEO ultimately had to apologize for his comments Benefits plans must evolve to reflect everything from new categories of prescription drugs to demographic changes such as aging workers Just make sure to follow these tips when discussing the related changes 1 Invite employees to be part of the solution Employees may not understand how much they can influence the cost of benefits It is why employers often invite me into workplaces to update employees on the state of a plan and offer some specific ideas to reduce any related strain Actions like choosing a cheaper pharmacy or generic drugs for example can make a tangible difference 2 Remember the human side of the equation While any discussions about costs clearly involve the cells on a spreadsheet benefits are designed to help employees with intensely personal issues This is the support that cares for people when they are sick and looks after families if someone is injured or dies It is why discussions about threats or changes to a plan need to include more than numbers alone and show how a sustainable plan will better protect families friends and coworkers 3 Look beyond the short term savings Outright cuts to a benefits plan may deliver some short term savings but they can also lead to steeper costs in the long term Employees who lose a valued benefit for example may choose to work elsewhere The 2012 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey found that 61 of employees see health benefits as a strong incentive to stay with their current employers Some cuts

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/group-benefits/breaking-news-2920 (2016-04-26)
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  • Canadians concerned about financial security | Small Biz Advisor
    including lack of confidence in public benefits Less than one third of the survey respondents believe that Old Age Security and the Canada Quebec Pension Plans will continue to provide the same level of benefits in the future as they do today and more than 70 percent of respondents believe we will see diminished coverage under provincial healthcare benefits she says Corporate cutbacks have also left their mark on Canadian confidence According to the survey 76 percent of workers have endured cuts in salary increases and benefits or have lived through significant organizational change Employers and employees alike have experienced a significant period of change and we are now living in a new reality says Burnett While corporate profitability has improved and rising stock prices have boosted retirement accounts slow economic growth and stagnant wages continue to weigh on public confidence and contribute to a continued fear about a retirement crisis in Canada The good news is that Canadians appear to be tackling these concerns about financial security head on The survey found that many are deferring expenditures paying down debt living more modest lifestyles and saving more for retirement In fact close to two thirds of respondents 40 or older rank saving for retirement as their number one priority But it s not enough According to the survey three quarters of Canadians are saving below their ideal target and only half of respondents said they believe they will be able to improve their financial prospects For many Canadians this means a delayed retirement and negative health consequences M any employees anticipate longer careers and will delay their retirement by three or more years says Dan Morrison a leader of Towers Watson s defined contribution consulting group It is no surprise that those planning to delay their retirement tend to

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/canadians-concerned-about-financial-security-2908 (2016-04-26)
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  • Near-retirees don’t know much about pensions | Small Biz Advisor
    security yet more than eight in 10 of this age group say they plan to use this as a source of retirement income and more than one third anticipate this will be their primary source However of those who say they have a workplace pension and plan to rely on it as their primary source of income 55 percent don t know the monthly benefit they can expect Planning for retirement at an early age will help Canadians to really understand what will be required to maintain their desired lifestyle and where savings and investments are needed to fill the pension gaps said Dave Ablett director tax and estate planning with Investors Group Seven in 10 say that they will have enough to pay the cost of living in retirement yet when asked what they anticipate their monthly cost of living to be 42 percent of unretired Canadians did not know The research revealed that as Canadians approach the age of retirement a significant number are still not aware of what it will take to support their lifestyle with 39 percent of Canadians ages 55 to 64 still unclear on what to expect In addition 66 percent of Canadians are

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/near-retirees-don%e2%80%99t-know-much-about-pensions-2906 (2016-04-26)
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  • Many Canadians retiring earlier than planned | Small Biz Advisor
    nearing retirement believe they ll choose when they leave their careers in reality 41 of retirees say they left sooner than expected shows the RBC 2013 Retirement Myths Realities Poll Often employers asked them to step down 41 or health issues sped up their departure 22 The survey also shows 20 of retirees had one month or no advance notice before retirement with 65 reporting they had notification one year or less before their retirement date We advise our clients to begin refining their retirement roadmap at least five years before they expect to retire to get a clearer idea of their retirement lifestyle as well as the corresponding retirement income plan that will help them achieve it says Amalia Costa RBC s head of retirement strategies and successful aging The top strategies cited by Canadian retirees for supplementing their retirement income if necessary Move downsize rent etc or stay in my home and live frugally tied at 79 Stay in my home and sell assets 44 Borrow against my home equity 38 Return to paid work 29 Stay in my home and rent a part of my home to create income 16 Take out a loan without borrowing against

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/many-canadians-retiring-earlier-than-planned-2901 (2016-04-26)
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  • Two group retirement trends for 2014 | Small Biz Advisor
    plan DPSP If an employer contributes to an RSP that contribution is considered salary so all payroll taxes apply Contributions to a DPSP are not considered salary which saves the company about 15 on average A DPSP makes sense if the company is slightly bigger 40 or more employees With a group RSP the only option for taking money out is to transfer to an RRSP and it is the employee s decision on how to do that Thus there is an increased need for advice and support for employees something that the employer can offer through the services of an advisor Products for such transfers are evolving toward investments Typical until now have been life annuity products or locked in equivalents e g Registered Retirement Income Fund which is a decumulation vehicle However new products are anticipated particularly variable annuities which are a growing trend in the United States the United Kingdom and Australia With variable annuities a life insurance policy is issued and the insured amount varies in time based on the profitability of a mutual fund Potential uptake of PRPPs The second trend to pooled registered pension plans PRPPs may or may not happen PRPPs are a creation of the federal government intended to help self employed individuals and people employed by small businesses to have access to a workplace pension plan which many small businesses find too costly to operate Côté says that PRPPs are a no name brand approach to retirement savings a bare bones low cost widely distributed plan available to any size of employer or individual PRPPs operate like a group RSP but one where employees can make payroll contributions but employers are not forced to contribute Overall the pooled plans will be less costly making them more attractive to small businesses than

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/group-retirement/two-group-retirement-trends-for-2014-2887 (2016-04-26)
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  • Most Canadians scrambling to make RRSP deadline | Small Biz Advisor
    Savings Account in 2014 nearly two thirds 64 percent of them have not set aside the money says CIBC This lack of savings has many scrambling to crunch 12 months worth of retirement savings post holiday bills into just a few weeks The disconnect between intended and actual contributions comes from a lack of regular savings only 31 percent of poll respondents said they have a regular investment plan that sets money aside for retirement automatically throughout the year This gap highlights the need to build a realistic financial plan says Christina Kramer executive vice president of retail and business banking with CIBC While the intentions of Canadians are in the right place history tells us that without a regular investment plan many will not be able to follow through and make the contribution that will help them achieve their long term goals The poll also found that Canadians between the ages of 45 54 a demographic that is typically more focused on building up their retirement savings were no better off than those much younger when it came to regular savings Just 34 percent of them said they had set up a regular investment plan the same percentage as

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/most-canadians-scrambling-to-make-rrsp-deadline-2897 (2016-04-26)
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  • Sun Life turns retirement planning into a game | Small Biz Advisor
    moneyUP allows plan members to complete levels and missions that encompass important retirement and investment planning steps Tom Reid senior vice president of Sun Life s group retirement services says the interactive program encourages Canadians to learn about their pension plan and save for a more secure retirement while having fun along the way There s also a leader board that allows participants to compete against their colleagues and share

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/sun-life-turns-retirement-planning-into-a-game-2893 (2016-04-26)
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  • Tax-tip roundup | Small Biz Advisor
    biz owners are certainly no exception Help guide your clients through tax season with these four articles full of small biz tax tips 1 Tax tips catering to small businesses Tax planning can be a challenge But there are a couple of tax tips that small business advisors can share with their clients to help them either avoid some tax consequences or take advantage of some untapped tax breaks 2 5 year end tax tips for small biz owners These five strategies can be used to reduce the amount of income tax payable for small biz clients 3 Tax wise Small biz clients may well be aware that offering employee benefits helps attract and retain talented people But they may not realize health and dental coverage group insurance plans employee assistance plans and retirement savings vehicles can also let them put money directly into their own and their employees pockets without having to bite off a share for the Canada Revenue Agency CRA 4 Salary or dividends Tough choice for small biz owners This report offers guidance to small business owners on the most tax efficient way to pay themselves Read more Canada s tax system in global top 10

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/group-benefits/tax-tip-roundup-2861 (2016-04-26)
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