Cross Border Benefits

Finding Efficiencies in a Canadian Retirement Program

Cost Effective Canadian Benefits
Across Canada   |   Manufacturing   |   100 employees


At 100 employees this Canadian subsidiary was a tenth of the size of their US parent. Their Canadian benefits program was a fraction of their US benefits program, and their Canadian controller had no major complaints.

As such, their program went unchecked for 10 years.

When the former Canadian controller retired, his replacement noticed some potential issues.

Compared to her former employer, the costs seemed high and the coverage seemed to be lacking in some key areas. She was also concerned about the lack of protection against major increases. It seemed to her that their relatively low increases were more a matter of luck than the design of a smart plan.

She brought forward her concerns to the leadership team in the US, who agreed they were past due for a review and comparison.

Their Challenges

  1. Ensure the program was cost-effective, without sacrificing value.
  2. Provide benefits that were benchmarked to their size and industry. (they did not believe in providing higher levels of coverage than necessary, but they didn’t want to be accused of providing less than the competition)
  3. Create greater sustainability and mitigate risk for major increases. The average annual increase in Canada is 10%-12% and 25%+ increase from a sudden spike in claims costs is not uncommon.

How We Helped Them

  1. We applied our Lean Benefits™ approach and found several areas, whereby improving the health benefits supply chain and apply more apt forms of accounting, were able to reduce costs sustainably without sacrificing coverage.
  2. Being in the top 1% of Canadian advisors, we have access to a significant database of Canadian benefits and Canadian retirement plans. We were quickly able to confirm the new controller’s suspicions, they were below average in some key areas. We also analyzed the trends of the group to determine which areas warranted the most attention and if any areas could be reduced. The analysis pointed to a restructure of their benefits plan, that did require some of the sustainable savings found were reinvested, but the end result was a better benefit and retirement program at a lower sustainable cost.
  3. Significant liabilities were found in the prescription drug and disability programs, that if unchanged could lead to 25%+ increases in costs, inability to market/alter the program in the future, and add significant out of pocket costs for employees. We applied proven and workable innovations to eliminate the risk of major increases and limit the average annual increase to half of the industry standard.