Canadian employers are increasingly focusing their employee benefits plans on flexibility, mental health and virtual health care. While traditional health care plans remain the most common, nearly two-thirds of Canadian employers are now offering more innovative health care spending accounts (HCSAs) to employees—according to the Conference Board of Canada’s newly released Benefits Benchmarking 2019 report.
“As Canadian employers look to appeal to a multi-generational workforce, flexibility and choice are the key watchwords for health and wellness benefits,” said Monica Haberl, Senior Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada. “Supplementing fixed benefits plans with health care spending accounts provides flexibility and choice to employees while keeping business costs predictable.”
As Canada’s baby boomer population continues to age, sustained pressure on the nation’s health care system is expected. Over the last several decades, the average age of retirement has increased slowly but steadily for Canadians, meaning older workers are remaining in the workforce longer.
Employers are also focusing more on preventative health measures and medicines, as well as investment in benefits technologies such as tele or virtual healthcare and counselling, pharmacogenetics and fitness and wellness apps to encourage wellness and try to prevent illness before it occurs.
Benefits Benchmarking 2019 surveyed 217 organizations with more than 1.2 million employees across Canada. Trending employee benefits identified in the report include:
Benefits costs remain relatively steady at 10 per cent of payroll or an average of $9,011 per full-time equivalent. That said, cost containment remains the key priority for organizations. More than one-third (34 per cent) of organizations ranked cost containment as the top priority for their benefits strategy.
The Benefits Benchmarking 2019 report provides data to help mid- to large-sized Canadian employers benchmark themselves against other similar organizations.
About the Conference Board of Canada
The Conference Board of Canada is the country’s leading independent research organization. Our mission is to empower and inspire leaders to build a stronger future for all Canadians through our trusted research and unparalleled connections.
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