Why do you need Employee Benefits

Business owners are increasingly recognizing the key importance of implementing employee benefit plans in their organization and this is an area that has grown considerably in recent decades. Employee benefits comprise all of the additional things that you offer to your employees on top of their regular salary, which could include pension contributions, health cover / insurance policies, training and education programs etc. Employees are more and more interested in the total benefits package that a potential employer can offer them, rather than just being focused on a binary salary figure and recognizing and understanding this cultural shift in the modern working world is crucial to maintain your ability to recruit and retain the right talent for your business.

Many employees value the benefits that their employer offers, considering them an integral part of their take home pay, none more so than health cover. This benefit can provide financial and emotional security to your employees and their families, without the need for them to complete any health requirements to be on the plan. They are likely to benefit from a preferable level of cover and the plan may even provide them with insurance products such as long-term disability cover, which can be harder to gain outside of a group plan. What’s more, group plans often offer out-of-country emergency healthcare for employees which has the potential to save them money on personal travel insurance products.

Not only do these benefits provide a sense of security to your employees, they can also help them to feel valued as part of your organization, which may in turn foster higher morale and increased motivation within their roles. It is therefore worthwhile for business owners to encourage their teams to recognize the fact that the benefits package that you offer should be considered as an integral part of their take home pay, alongside their actual salary.

Running a successful business, keeping employees happy and attracting new talent can be difficult. For a busy business owner, a big part of your value proposition are the individuals that work at your company.

Employee Benefits are non-cash compensation paid to an employee.

Why employee benefits make smart business sense:

  • Save money and time
  • Increase the wellness and productivity of your employees
  • Be competitive and attract new employees and key talent
  • Provide a solid framework for the future
  • Form a part of your business’ value proposition
  • Increase employee engagement

There are a number of employee benefits and perks that can be valued more than pay raises:

  • Health Benefits (ex. medical, dental, life disability insurance)
  • Retirement/Pension Plan
  • Vacation/Paid Time Off
  • Performance Bonus
  • Paid Sick Days
  • Flexible Schedule (ex. work form home)
  • Office Perks (ex. Casual dress, free lunch)
  • Employee Development Programs (ex. Professional development, on-the-job training)
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Employee Discounts
  • Gym Membership or Wellness Program
  • Stock, Stock Options and/or Equity
  • Paid Parental Leave (ex. Maternity leave, adoption assistance)
  • Childcare Assistance (ex. On-site Childcare, Financial Assistance)
  • Commuter Assistance (ex. Company shuttle, commuter checks)
  • Diversity Program

Next to salary, health benefits coverage is the most important tool in attracting and retaining key staff. 59% of employees would rather keep benefits coverage than receive a $10,000 raise. (2011 Sanofi-Aventis Healthcare survey)

Talk to us about helping put together an employees benefit package that makes smart business sense.

Talk to us, we can help.

Contact Us


Getting the best from a financial advisor

Working with a professional to help you to make sense of your finances can be a wise move, but for this relationship to work effectively it is important that you understand what to expect from your financial advisor.

What can your financial advisor help you with?

  • Defining your financial goals and creating a step by step plan or strategy to achieve them.
  • Planning for the future, including for retirement, future education or housing needs.
  • Choosing the mix of investments and assets that suit your goals, lifestyle, time horizon and appetite for risk.
  • Building a solid estate for your family to inherit in the future.
  • Choosing the most tax-efficient methods of saving and investing.

What should your financial advisor inform you of?

  • The range of services that they offer and how much and by which method you will compensate them.
  • Your mutual responsibilities and obligations towards each other.
  • What the planning process will look like and the documents that they will provide you with.

What will your financial advisor need from you or need to ask you about?

  • What your financial goals are.
  • What your personal circumstances – such as your marital status, any dependents, your job, earnings and tax situation.
  • Any investments or assets that you currently have – such as registered accounts, workplace pensions, property etc.
  • Your appetite for risk and investment preferences.
  • Information on your income and also your outgoings, including debts such as mortgages, loans or credit cards.
  • Whether or not you have a will, and its contents.
  • Your estate and inheritance planning situation.

If you’re looking to achieve your financial goals, talk to us. We can help.

Contact Us



New Tax Rules Small Business Owners – Problems & Possible Solutions

New Tax Rules Small Business Owners – Problems & Possible Solutions – PowerPoint Presentation

 Summary of the Rules

  • Tax Rate 10% to 9%
  • Limited Access To Small Business Tax Rate
  • Tax on Split Income


Small Business Tax Rate Reduction

  • Reduction from 10% to 9% Effective January 1, 2019

Small Business Tax Rate Reduction Problem

  • Problem: Lower corporate tax rates results in more capital trapped inside the corporation

Possible Solution for Small Business Tax Rate Reduction

  • Life insurance- Life insurance proceeds credit the capital dividend account on death allowing for the tax-efficient distribution of funds from the corporation to the estate


Limited Access to Small Business Tax Rate

Passive Investment Income greater than $50,000 / year reduces the Small Business Limit for Small Business Tax Rate The business limit would be reduced to zero at $150,000 of investment income. Effective January 1, 2019.

Understanding the Adjusted Aggregate Investment Income (AAII)

Passive Income Tax Treatment Table

Check what makes up your Adjusted Aggregate Investment Income.


Limited Access to Small Business Tax Rate Problem

  • For companies with passive income over $50,000, the small business limit will be reduced and, thus, increase the total amount of tax you have to pay

Possible Solutions of Limited Access to Small Business Tax Rate Problem

  1. Corporate Owned Insurance – Insured Retirement Program, Estate bond, Corporate held Critical Illness Insurance with Return of Premium
  2. Individual Pension Plan (IPP) – The corporation contributes to the IPP and income earned in the IPP doesn’t belong to the corporation. This should only be considered when the AAII is over $50,000.
    Pay enough salary/dividends to maximize RRSP and TFSA Contributions – A salary of $145,722 will allow the max 2018 RRSP contribution is $26,230
  3. Deferred Capital Gains – Capital gains are 50% taxable and are only 50% included in the AAII.

Tax on Split Income

Income meeting the definition of TOSI is removed from the individual’s net income and taxed separately at the top marginal tax bracket in his or her province of residence. In addition to paying tax at the top tax rate, the individual may claim only the dividend tax credit, tax credit for mental or physical impairment and foreign tax deduction

Possible Solution – Tax on Split Income

Exceptions to the TOSI rules: The rules provide that an individual is deemed to be ‘Actively Engaged’ if the individual works in the business at least an average of 20 hours per week during the taxation year or meets this requirement in any five prior years.


Next Steps before Jan 1, 2019 Deadline

  1. Review your current situation Are you affected?
  2. Meet with your Financial Team: Financial Advisor Accountant Lawyer
  3. Identify Possible Solutions & Implement
  4. Review Solutions


Legal Disclaimer

This presentation is not intended to provide legal, accounting or other advice in individual circumstances. Seek professional assistance before acting upon information included in this publication.


For more information, please contact us.
(902) 429-4001


Promote EFAPs to improve access to mental health services

A lot of work is being done to reduce the stigma around mental health in Canada, but it’s no secret that provincial mental health services and support can be hard to come by.

For that reason, advisors have an opportunity value to their clients by including EFAP in benefits discussions with employers.

According to waitimes.novascotia.ca, a provincial website designed to help Nova Scotians navigate the healthcare system, people can wait upwards of 383 days in certain communities in Nova Scotia for mental health services. Generally speaking, the situation looks shockingly similar across the country.

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Important Tax Changes

The need to curb “abuses” of the Canadian tax system by owners of private corporations has been a predominant theme since the last Federal election.  The initial attempt at “consultation” by the Department of Finance elicited a high degree of frustration and anger from business owners and tax planning professionals across the country.  Much of the frustration and anger can be traced to a combination of poor communication, badly written legislation, and questionable timing for both the release and implementation of the pending legislation.  Over the course of the 75 days, consultation period over 21,000 written submissions and several petition websites were drafted.  Few, if any, in support of the rushed overhaul to the Canadian tax system.

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