Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits Advisors at Wiegers Financial & Benefits Explain The EI Premium Reduction Program

Wiegers Financial & Benefits is one of Saskatchewan's largest private financial planning and employee benefits consulting firms.  In this latest Wiegers Group Benefits expert tip, they explain how the EI Premium Reduction Program benefits employers and employees with group short-term disability insurance. Wiegers Financial & Benefits is a Trusted Saskatoon Insurance and Group Benefits expert.




The Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Reduction Program is a government incentive that allows employers to pay EI premiums at a reduced rate if their employees are covered by group Short-Term Disability insurance.  The Program intends to reduce the EI premiums of both the employer and the employees (though, for administrative reasons, legislation reduces only the employer’s premiums).  Consequently, the Program requires that the employer return a portion of the savings to all the employees for whom the reduced rate applies.  Some of the more popular means of doing this include providing employees with a cash rebate (taxable income), paying for new or enhanced employee benefits, or hosting a staff party – each of which typically has a direct and positive impact on employee morale.  Only written mutual agreements that identify how the employees will benefit from the reduction will be accepted.

Your company qualifies for the EI premium reduction if it:

  • Provides at least 15 weeks of benefits for Short Term Disability
  • Matches or exceeds the level of benefits provided under EI
  • Pays benefits to employees within eight days of illness or injury (the elimination period cannot exceed 7 consecutive days)
  • Is accessible to employees within three months of hiring
  • Covers employees on a 24-hour-a-day basis


Maximum insurable earnings in 2021 are $56,300.  An employee who earns this much (or more) will pay EI premiums of $889.54 (calculated at 1.58%). For this calculation, we have used a reduced employer multiplier of 1.166.  Note that reduced rates change annually on January 1st and are prorated throughout the year.  If you apply effective January 1st, your rate will be slightly lower than if you apply at a later month in the year.

Employer regular premium =                                          $889.54 x 1.4 = $1,245.36

Employer reduced premium =                                        $889.54 x 1.166 = $1,037.20

Amount of total premium reduction =                              A – B =  $208.16

Employee’s portion of reduction =                                 C x 5/12 = $ 86.73

Employer’s portion of reduction =                                  C x 7/12 = $121.43

Assuming the above numbers, an employer can save as much as $121.43 annually in EI premiums per employee and can return $86.73 in some form to the employee and/or his or her colleagues.  The financial incentives for utilizing the program are clear.


To participate in the Program, you must register by submitting an initial application form, which is available on Service Canada’s website at  If you already participate in the Program, you needn’t reapply; your entitlement will continue until you change or cancel your approved plan.

Debra L. Wiegers, GBA, CLU, Ch.F.C.
Managing Principal, Benefits Division  

Wiegers’ Benefits Consulting Division includes many consultants and support staff who custom-design the most employee-valued and cost-effective group benefits, personal insurance, employee assistance programs, and retirement plans available. Contact them today for a no-obligation consultation to determine how they can help you.

Wiegers Financial & Benefits are Trusted Saskatoon Insurance and Group Benefits Advisors 

Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits Advisors at Wiegers Financial & Benefit Share The Importance of Benefits Plan Administration Tasks

Wiegers Financial & Benefits is one of the largest private financial planning and employee benefits consulting firms in Saskatchewan. Its Saskatoon Financial Planning Division provides business owners, households, retirees, and students with expert investment and insurance planning services to help them reach their long-term financial goals. They also have a Benefits and Personal Insurance planning, division. In this latest Wiegers Group Benefits expert tip, they explain the importance of benefits plan administration tasks. Wiegers Financial & Benefits are Trusted Saskatoon Insurance and Group Benefits experts.



Plan administration is an important job! An eligible employee who is not insured correctly or who has not been offered benefits can not only have a negative impact on the employee’s well-being but it can also pose liability issues for you and the business.

What types of plan administration tasks do you need to remember?

Most such tasks apply to all employees so they should become an automatic part of your group benefits plan administration. Some of the most important tasks include the following:

  • It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that each employee is enrolled properly and on time. If an employee is enrolled late on the plan (typically 31 days after becoming eligible to join), his or her coverage is typically not guaranteed. The employee and his or her dependents will be considered late applicants, and will need to complete and submit forms about their health. They will then need to be medically approved before enrolling on the plan, at which point they will likely learn that their coverage is restricted or has been declined entirely. This not only has the potential to negatively impact the employee’s and/or dependents’ well-being but it also poses a significant liability risk to the employer. It is far better and easier for everyone for an employer to enroll an eligible employee properly and within the required timeframe.

  • In almost all cases, it is to the employer’s and employees’ benefit to make participation in the benefits plan mandatory. If an employee was permitted to join a plan only when he or she anticipates needing a claim paid, this would make the plan financially non-viable; both non-claimers and claimers need to be contributing premiums into a plan to build up funds to cover claims (similar to home and other forms of insurance). This is why Wiegers Financial & Benefits recommends that employers make participation in their benefits plan mandatory for all eligible employees. If, though, you wish and are able to permit employees to waive all benefits coverage under your plan, it is important that you have those employees sign a group benefits plan waiver form that makes clear that you offered coverage to these employees but that they chose to decline it.

  • Almost all group benefit plans permit an employee to waive Health and/or Dental coverage if he or she has comparable coverage through another plan (typically a spouse’s plan). The employee must be enrolled for all other applicable benefits on the plan as Life, Disability and other benefits are not offered to dependents.

  • Changes to an employee’s coverage must be submitted to your group insurance carrier no later than 31 days after the event. Have your employees communicate regularly with you about changes that need to be made such as:
    • Marriage, divorce, new baby, legal guardianship of child (requires proof)
    • Overage dependents, enrollment in a secondary school with the required amount of classes
      Note: Dependents over age of 18 working more than 20 hours per week are not considered eligible for coverage under a parent and should be removed from the benefits plan

  • If you have employees who are eligible to apply for additional Life and/or Disability coverage above what is automatically provided through your benefits plan, it is your responsibility to advise them of the option to apply. To apply, the employee must complete a health questionnaire provided by the carrier. If he or she chooses not to apply, Wiegers Financial & Benefits recommends that the employee sign a waiver confirming that he or she is aware of the option to apply for additional coverage but has decided against it.

There are, predictably – or not-so-predictably – a number of other plan administration tasks that employers like you need to be diligent about remembering to do to ensure that your employees and their dependents have all of the coverage available to them (and that you’re not doing anything to put yourself or your business in a liable position). An effective and talented benefits advisor will ensure that you are aware of all of the plan administration tasks you need to be aware of, and will ensure that you are also aware of any particularities about your own plan that differ from the norm. As long as you remember to do what you need to do, you’ll have a benefits plan that helps you take care of your valued employees and their families while also preventing you from liability. Benefits plan administration done correctly is a win for all.

Amanda Getzlaf,
Benefits Account Manager, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.

Wiegers’ Benefits Consulting Division includes many consultants and support staff who custom-design the most employee-valued and cost-effective group benefit, personal insurance, employee assistance programs, and retirement plans available. Contact them today for a no-obligation consultation to determine how they can help you.

Wiegers Financial & Benefits are Trusted Saskatoon Insurance and Group Benefits Advisors 

Trusted Saskatoon Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Experts at Perfection Plumbing's Mystery Shop Results

Being a Trusted Partner on the Trusted Saskatoon Directory of Excellence comes with a lot of responsibility - no other directory, advertising company, or 'watchdog organization' puts businesses through the ongoing process we do before we promote and endorse them.

Why Choose a Business On the Trusted Saskatoon Directory?

All of the Trusted Saskatoon partners have to pass a unique verification process, they are then annually contracted to uphold our 5 Trusted Guarantees. The partners then become part of a local community of Saskatoon and area businesses that we promote with a strong local marketing campaign. We also have a Trusted MYSTERY SHOPPER PROGRAM. This is where we find and engage with normal everyday people, just like you, who are looking for products and services in Saskatoon and area. We approach individuals we can see are looking for a local business and we ask them to mystery shop Trusted Saskatoon Partners. Those that agree to be Trusted mystery shoppers go about their usual business, except at the end they fill out a report to tell us about the experience. We then share it with you! We are thrilled to share our latest mystery shop. 

 Perfection Plumbing Mystery Shop Report!

Perfection Plumbing & Drain are Trusted Saskatoon Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Experts

Date of Mystery Shop: July 2023

Name of Shopper: Chad M.


1. How was the greeting/ welcome/ call answered? Extremely friendly and helpful.

2. Product/industry knowledge of staff? Both people I talked to were very knowledgeable and helpful - the plumber was very particular and did extremely good work.

3. If a quote was required, was it well laid out/ clear? Verbal quote over the phone was given.

4. Overall experience 1-10. 10

5. Would you return as a customer/ recommend them to close friends? Absolutely yes.

6. Did anyone stand out as exceptional? If so who? Why? No, although my father-in-law who supervised the installation raved about how particular and thorough the plumber was.


1. Provide the service and quality promised - Yes

2. Complete the job on time - Yes

3. Charge the price quoted with NO surprises - Yes

4. Communicate honestly and be responsive to customer needs - Yes

5. Resolve any issues with customer satisfaction in mind - Yes


The only thing they could do better… I called on a Saturday and the call centre person who answered said they do work on Saturdays and someone would call me that day. I got a call on Monday morning. It was not urgent and was ok to leave until Monday however I was expecting a call on the weekend because that is what I was told would happen.


Yet again showing you deserve the Thumbs Up from

If you are experiencing any problems with your toilet or just want an updated look and better water efficiency, contact us at 306-652-9556 or fill out our contact form for more info.

Congratulations to Preferred Collision and Glass -celebrating 10 years as a Trusted Saskatoon Auto Body Shop


In this series of articles, we continue to shine a bright spotlight on the businesses that have been Trusted Saskatoon partners for over ten years. This year, we recognize the Trusted Saskatoon Partners that joined us in 2013. We want to thank them for TRUSTING our team, and we are identifying each of them individually for providing ten years of OUTSTANDING service to the citizens of Saskatoon and the surrounding area! The latest article celebrates and recognizes Preferred Collision & Glass Repair. 

Three Decades of Outstanding Service and Dedication!  

In the north end of Saskatoon on 51st,  a shining example of exceptional auto body and glass repair service has been quietly and consistently serving the community for a remarkable thirty years. Preferred Collision & Glass Repair is a testament to dedication, expertise, and a commitment to excellence, making them a perfect Trusted Saskatoon auto body & collision repair partner.

A History of Excellence

Preferred Collision and Glass Repair's journey began in 1993. There have been a few name changes since then. In 2008, it became Preferred Collision and Glass when two individuals with a shared passion for the auto industry and a vision for unparalleled customer service joined forces. Russ and Doug brought their wealth of collision repair experience and industry knowledge to create a Saskatoon auto body shop that would set new standards in quality and customer satisfaction.

Since its inception, the business has steadily grown from a modest workshop to a state-of-the-art collision repair center while preserving the core values defining its success. With a dedication to continuous improvement and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in autobody and Collision repair, Preferred Collision has consistently evolved to meet the changing needs of its clients and the industry.

Their unwavering commitment to outstanding service is What sets Preferred Collision and Glass Repair apart. When a client's vehicle enters their facility, it is met with the utmost care and attention. Their team of skilled technicians, armed with years of experience and industry certifications, ensures that each repair is executed precisely and perfectly. Preferred Collision & Glass is your best choice when filing an insurance claim. They work with SGI and other insurers every day. If you are paying for repairs yourself, they help their customers by presenting alternatives to save them money.

Preferred Collision's commitment to excellence extends beyond the repair process. The facility boasts a welcoming and customer-friendly atmosphere where clients are treated respectfully and transparently. The team understands that navigating the complexities of insurance and the auto body and glass repair can be overwhelming, and they go the extra mile to explain each step of the process and answer any questions, allowing clients to make informed decisions about their vehicle's repair. Check out the full range of services offered on the website here:

The Russ and Doug Experience

At the end of the day, people buy from people, and at the heart of Preferred Collision and Glass Repair are Russ and Doug. Their combined expertise and shared passion for automobiles has been instrumental in shaping the company's success. With decades of experience in the auto body industry, they bring a unique blend of technical knowledge and personal dedication to the table.

Russ and Doug's hands-on approach ensures that their values are woven into every aspect of the business. Their experience has taught them the importance of building lasting relationships with clients, and they take pride in being actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the repair center. Their presence not only instills a sense of trust but also serves as a reminder of the genuine care and commitment that underpin Preferred Collision's services. Doug is generally handling the reception and always meets you with a big smile; they understand their customers' stress, and their main goal is to be proactive, not reactive, throughout the repair process. Doug and Russ are also proud supporters of the Children Wish Foundation and have supported many of their fundraisers and events over the years.  

A Decade of Trust

As Preferred Collision and Glass Repair celebrates ten years of dedicated service as a Trusted Saskatoon Autobody shop, they can look back with pride on a decade filled with success stories, repaired vehicles, and satisfied clients. From minor dents to major collision repairs, Preferred Collision has consistently delivered results that exceed expectations. Their reputation as a Trusted Saskatoon Auto Body and Glass repair partner is well-deserved, and it's a testament to the values of excellence, transparency, and customer focus that Russ, Doug, and their team uphold. We have not received any complaints about them in their ten years as Trusted Saskatoon Partners!

What Preferred Collision and Glass Clients Say...

"This is a great place to go! I went in to see about replacing my windshield, and they got me in the next week! Half a day, and my SUV was done! From when I first walked in until the job was finished, it was excellent service. 5 Stars in a heartbeat! Congratulations to you and your team! I definitely recommend! Thank you for the speedy service Preferred Collision and Glass 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟" - Nathan Lepp
" ONE OF THE BEST!!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If I could give this business 10 stars, I would.
Very good service. The staff are incredibly friendly. They were all incredibly professional and very easy to deal with. They did the paint repair job for my car, and after they performed the repair, the car looked like it never happened.
Pricing is also very, very competitive compared to others!!!
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Preferred Collision to anybody who is looking for vehicle body repair or painting! " Anna Anna

A Message From Doug and Russ About What It Means To Be Trusted 

"With new ownership in 2008, we have been striving to change people's experience with collision repair.
We continue improving all aspects of our business and your experience with us. We are not perfect, but we learn, grow and improve on those past errors to make us better and your time with us the best experience possible. With our focus on customer care and satisfaction, we have implemented programs to facilitate the ease of what any customer must face to have vehicles repaired.
In the auto industry, few things are as valuable as trust. This sentiment holds particularly true in the auto body industry, where individuals and businesses entrust their vehicles to professionals for repair and restoration. From minor scratches to major collisions, the trust between customers and auto body shops is a cornerstone of success. With our Customer for Life philosophy, we want to make your repair process as easy on you as possible, and your future needs for your vehicle care." 

A word from Sara, the Trusted Saskatoon founder, about her personal experience with Preferred Collision & Glass

" Unfortunately, I have had reason to be a customer at Preferred Collision & Glass several times over the last ten years. When a vehicle sustains damage due to an accident, weather-related incident, or a simple parking mishap, owners often feel stressed and anxious; in such situations, trust in an auto body shop is crucial for preserving peace of mind. Preferred is a reputable and trustworthy shop. The experience is painless as Doug and Russ alleviate worries by assuring me that my vehicle is in capable hands. They communicate clearly, explaining the extent of the damage, the necessary repairs, and the estimated costs. This open dialogue has helped me make informed decisions, and it fosters a sense of confidence.  Trust within the auto body industry is closely tied to ethics and integrity. Customers can trust Preferred to accurately assess the damage and necessary repairs without any hidden agendas. As a  reputable shop, I am confident Doug & Russ will always prioritize the customer's best interests." 

In an industry where trust is paramount, Preferred Collision and Glass Repair have repeatedly proven that they are more than just a repair center – they are a partner Saskatoon residents can rely on. As they embark on the journey ahead, it's clear that Preferred Collision's dedication to outstanding service and their clients' well-being will continue to drive them forward for many more years to come. The team at Preferred Collision and Glass look forward to serving you in the future for whatever your vehicle collision repair, painting or auto glass needs.


Preferred Collision and Glass is a Trusted Saskatoon Auto Body Shop & Collision Repair Expert 

Congratulations to Saskatoon Pilates, Your Trusted Saskatoon Pilates Studio For 10 Years


In this series of articles, we continue to shine a bright spotlight on the businesses that have been Trusted Saskatoon partners for over 10 years. This year, we recognize the Trusted Saskatoon Partners that joined us in 2013. We want to thank them for TRUSTING our team, and we are identifying each of them individually for providing 10 years of OUTSTANDING service to the citizens of Saskatoon and the surrounding area! The latest article celebrates and recognizes Saskatoon Pilates and its owner, Kathy Bond!

Celebrating 10 years of trust and 25 Years of Pilates Excellence: The Inspiring Journey of Saskatoon Pilates and Owner Kathy Bond.

2023 has been a big year for Kathy Bond, founder of Saskatoon Pilates,  one of Saskatoon’s most beloved wellness establishments, reaching an incredible milestone - 25 years of shaping bodies and transforming lives through the art of Pilates. This anniversary marks a quarter-century of dedication to health and well-being, and we celebrate the studio moving to a beautiful and modern new location. We also are thrilled to commemorate a decade of distinction and integrity as a Trusted Saskatoon Partner. 
At the heart of this enduring success story is the indomitable spirit of its owner, Kathy Bond, whose journey has been nothing short of inspiring. 

It may surprise you to know that Kathy was close to closing the business and retiring in 2022. COVID was particularly difficult for the fitness and wellness sector; they were hit with lengthy restrictions. Kathy shared that 'safe class sizes' simply didn't pay the bills.  We are so grateful that a combination of fate and Kathy's well-known grit and determination combined to provide an opportunity for the business to evolve and endure!  

Saskatoon Pilates is a household name in Saskatoon, and it is synonymous with fitness, flexibility, and holistic wellness. Founded in 1998 by the visionary Kathy Bond, it started with humble beginnings as a small studio with a big dream - to introduce the people of Saskatoon & Regina to the transformative power of Pilates. At a time when Pilates was relatively unknown in the region, Kathy's dedication to spreading awareness about this unique fitness discipline laid the foundation for what would become an iconic institution.

Over the years, Saskatoon Pilates has established itself as more than just a fitness studio; it's a community hub where individuals come to rejuvenate their bodies, minds, and spirits. The studio's emphasis on personalized attention, expert instruction, and a nurturing environment has allowed clients to experience the true essence of Pilates. With a range of classes catering to various skill levels and needs, Saskatoon Pilates has become a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation.

Kathy Bond: A Trailblazer in Wellness

At the heart of Saskatoon Pilates' success story is Kathy Bond, a trailblazer whose passion for Pilates and unwavering commitment to her clients have driven the studio's evolution. With a background in dance and a deep understanding of human movement, Kathy's approach to Pilates goes beyond just exercise - it's a holistic philosophy that promotes balance, alignment, and well-being. 

Kathy's journey in the world of Pilates is a testament to her dedication and resilience. She has shown remarkable leadership, from introducing Saskatoon residents to the benefits of Pilates to overcoming challenges and embracing innovation. Her ability to adapt to changing times while staying true to the core principles of Pilates has been instrumental in shaping the studio's legacy…. In 2012, she added TRX classes; in 2015, Fascia Release was offered; Essentrics was added in 2022.

As the studio in Saskatoon grew, Kathy needed more teachers, and so began the Teacher Training programs. 

A Decade of Trusted Partnership

In 2013, Saskatoon Pilates was nominated and passed the verification to become a Trusted Saskatoon Partner. This distinction, earned through consistently exceptional service and client satisfaction, reaffirmed the studio's commitment to upholding the highest standards in the industry. For ten years, Kathy Bond and her team have upheld the 5 Trusted guarantees with ease, and they have provided a safe and welcoming space for individuals seeking physical wellness, mental clarity, and a sense of belonging.

What Saskatoon Pilates Clients Say...

" I have taken Pilates from the owner, Kathy Bond, since she started coming to Regina in Jan. 2000. She taught 6 week mat classes at Fieldhouse for 2 1/2 years.
In 2002, she hosted a Pilates Mat Instructor Training.
Not only was this the beginning of a whole new career for me but I am happy to say that I have kept Kathy as my mentor. I have been able to continue building my Pilates repetoire.
At the age of almost 52 I was able to complete the Advanced Level training with some modifications due to MVA injuries.
Many of the woman I know who took those classes with Kathy (2000 - 2002) have become Pilates instructors. I take classes at other studios & thoroughly enjoy the instructors. I'm just kinda of hung up on Kathy. She brought Pilates to Saskatchewan. " - Karen Freitag
" Kathy Bond is truly the pilates expert in this city. She is so inspirationall and is in better shape then most of us. If anyone is having back problems, or you just want to stay flexible, book with Saskatoon Pillates. She solved my chronic back problem after years of suffering. " - Leanna Keyes

A Message From Kathy About What It Means To Be Trusted 

I am so proud to be a Trusted Saskatoon partner for 10 years. Congratulations, Sara and your team, I know for certain that the Trusted Team really cares for the small local business that are the Trusted Partners! Being "trusted" holds immense significance for my business. Trust is the foundation upon which strong relationships are built, and it plays a pivotal role in shaping a business's reputation, success, and longevity. In the context of being a Trusted Saskatoon Partner, it signifies a seal of approval and endorsement from a reputable local organization, that highlights my business's commitment to reliability, quality, and ethical practices.

A word from Sara, the Trusted Saskatoon founder, about her personal experience with Kathy Bond and Saskatoon Pilates.

" I consider myself fortunate to call Kathy Bond a valued partner and a friend; she is a special lady who is passionate about Pilates and life in general!  When I think about local business owners who embody what we seek at Trusted Saskatoon, Saskatoon Pilates is a beautiful example that is always top of mind! Kathy is simply an amazing human and a visit with her always brightens my day.
The way I see it, TRUST is about more than just offering decent products or services; it's about embodying values, building relationships, and consistently demonstrating integrity in all aspects of the business. Business owners like Kathy understand the importance of trust, and she actively works to cultivate it daily!  Unsurprisingly, after 25 years in business, Saskatoon Pilates continues to thrive, creating lasting impacts within the health & wellness industry and the wider community. Congratulations, Kathy! The Trusted team is proud to promote and support you! " 
Celebrating 25 Years and Beyond

As Saskatoon Pilates celebrates 25 years of excellence, the journey is far from over. With a gorgeous new location at #6 – 816 1st Ave N Saskatoon and a legacy built on passion, integrity and a deep-rooted commitment to well-being, Kathy Bond and her team are poised to continue transforming lives through the next chapter of their story. The studio's anniversary is a testament to the power of dedication, community, and the pursuit of a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Saskatoon Pilates' journey from its humble beginnings to its current status as a pillar of wellness in the community is a tale of resilience, inspiration, and the profound impact of dedicated community-minded individuals like Kathy Bond. As the studio marks 25 years of empowering people to achieve their best selves, it also looks ahead to a future filled with possibilities, continued growth, and the promise of transforming lives, one Pilates session at a time! 

As they say at Saskatoon Pilates…


Read more about classes and see more reviews on their listing - Saskatoon Pilates is your Trusted Saskatoon Pilates Studio


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