Retirement Plans Closing the Gap for Top Employee Benefit

Jun 25, 2018


Have you considered setting up an employee benefit plan survey? Getting feedback from your employees may well be in your best interest and here’s why.

The number of companies offering retirement plans, currently about 30 per cent, has decreased from a high of about 50 per cent in the mid-1980s. There is also an opposite trend showing that employer sponsored retirement plans are increasingly important to the average employee. What’s driving these directions and what do they mean?

There’s really no great mystery behind either of these shifts. Benefits overall have grown in importance to employees largely because the average age of employees in Canada is now over 40. As we age we become more aware of our mortality. The feeling of invincibility isn’t as strong as it once was. This nudges an uptick in our use of health and dental services. 

And so, employees appreciate the ‘benefits’ of benefits packages. Usually, these comprise a bucket of traditional group insurance coverages such as extended health, dental, disability and life insurance. A fewer number of employers also offer sponsored retirement savings plans, as we’ve seen. Typically, these are either group Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) or Deferred Profit Sharing Plans (DPSPs). They’re funded by both parties who contribute a monthly amount.

There is an important difference, however, between traditional group insurance benefits and employer sponsored retirement plans. The former are more transactional and limited in nature. That is, employees are reimbursed for expenses and the interaction is largely finished. But the benefits that flow from employer sponsored retirement plans are additional dollars, rather than simply reimbursed dollars. They also increase each year as the saved amount grows. 

This highly significant benefit holds wider appeal for the average employee who is now approaching middle age than for a younger millennial who has more immediate financial concerns. As a result, retirement plans are climbing up the rankings on employee benefit surveys. Given that, benefits packages may increasingly have to include retirement plans, especially in a period of growing labour shortages. Companies who can capitalize on this trend may have an edge in recruiting and retaining top employees, so keep an eye on the surveys. And those opposite trends mentioned at the outset? It will be interesting to see if they start moving in lockstep.

Click here to download/print this blog.
blog rss subscribe button


Jump to:

Place content block here for staff contact info
Place content block here for social media links


Second Biggest Issue in Benefits Plans is Simple

By Craig Hewson on May 17, 2018


TRG GoLife Gets Life Insurance Numbers Just Right

By Craig Hewson on September 24, 2018



Place content block here. Add accent and heading in editor.

Important Factors to Maximize Your Benefit Plan

By Craig Hewson on March 7, 2017

How Your Benefits Plan Can Run Like a Ferrari

By Craig Hewson on January 3, 2017

Benefit Plans – The Best Time for a Review

By Craig Hewson on October 13, 2015

Wage Increase or Retirement Savings?

By Craig Hewson on December 16, 2014

Trend – A Second Definition

By Craig Hewson on September 22, 2014

The Importance of Communication

By Craig Hewson on March 24, 2014

Critical Illness Insurance

By Craig Hewson on January 13, 2014


By Craig Hewson on July 2, 2013

Group Benefit Utilization

By Craig Hewson on September 24, 2012

How To Spot Value In A Benefits Plan

By Craig Hewson on July 3, 2012

What is a benefit really?

By Craig Hewson on March 19, 2012

Depression in the Workplace

By Craig Hewson on February 20, 2012


Learn how Craig can help with your group benefits.

Phone 604.714.4443, email or send a message.

Message for Craig