Flexible Benefits (Benefit Tips ® - © 2001)

Many employers provide a benefit plan designed for a breadwinner, stay-at-home spouse and 2 children. They don’t consider that benefit priorities change over time and vary based on personal circumstances. You can accommodate your diverse workforce with a more progressive approach to compensation that empowers employees to select the level of coverage to suit their unique circumstances.

One method of providing flexibility is to use a flexible benefit program to accept employee and employer benefit contributions. Employees can then allocate flex-credits to various benefits based on their unique needs and values.

A number of plan design strategies are available.

  • Modular plans give employees a choice among a few plans designed to meet common needs. One option may emphasize health and dental coverage, while another maximizes retirement savings.
  • Core plus options specify minimum amounts of coverage and let employees use the remaining flex credits for enhancements.
  • Health Spending Accounts can be a component of the above or provide flexibility to health and dental benefits without affecting other benefits.

The simplest flex plan provides compulsory long-term disability coverage and lets employees choosing the funding level of their retirement plan (RRSP), health spending account and taxable wellness accounts.