Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits Professionals at Aurora Workplace Solutions Provide Information On Workplace Cannabis Policies

Aurora Workplace Solutions are about creating brilliant futures by developing wealth security for businesses and individuals. As experts in the industry, they keep on top of recent news including changes to relevant group benefit plans, retirement savings options, and guidelines and policies. They also keep their eyes open for informative articles we think are of interest to our current and potential clients. Aurora Workplace Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals! 

Workplace Policy Revisions Regarding Recreational Cannabis

Workplace Policies & Cannabis

Recent changes in the law surrounding the use of Cannabis products in Canada have a lot of employers asking how to handle this in the workplace. This recent article from Global News does a great job offering some suggestions on preparing your organization for handling the legalization of Marijuana and recreational use.

As you can see, now, more than ever, it is important for organizations to ensure they have a good drug policy in place that properly includes provisions for cannabis impairment in the workplace. It’s a good reminder that employers cannot tell their employees what they can and can’t do off duty, but expectations around impairment that could affect an employee’s ability to do their job safely, do need to be clearly outlined.

The legalization of marijuana is still a relatively new issue, but you do need to protect the health and safety of all of your employees with set company policies. As the lawyer from the Global article points out, companies do have to take into consideration the use of medicinal marijuana, so it’s not as simple as having a zero-tolerance policy.

If you have questions about your organization's drug or impairment policy or if you need help creating one, contact the team at Aurora Workplace Solutions.

Aurora Workplace Solutions design & create custom group benefits plans that meet custom organization goals. Read more about their Group Benefits Plans or contact them today to get started!

'Creating Brilliant Futures'


Aurora Workplace Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals! 

Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals at Aurora Workplace Solutions Share Benefit Costs

Aurora Workplace Solutions are about creating brilliant futures by developing wealth security for businesses and individuals. As experts in the industry, they keep on top of recent news including changes to relevant group benefit plans, retirement savings options, and guidelines and policies. They also keep their eyes open for informative articles we think are of interest to our current and potential clients. Aurora Workplace Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals! 

Employers Concerned About Rising Cost of Group Benefits 

Employers and the Rising Cost of Benefits

There is a new survey out from Aon that shows while Canadian employers are highly concerned about the rising costs of group benefits (due to drug expenses), they still prioritize the productivity and engagement of their employees and recognize the importance that group benefits play in creating healthy employees and a healthy work environment.

Canadian group benefit sponsors were surveyed by Aon to identify their Top 10 benefits and workplace priorities. 

The results were:


Top 10 Workforce Priorities

  1. Employee productivity/engagement
  2. Employee wellness
  3. Attracting, retaining employees; developing skills for changing business environment
  4. Workplace mental health
  5. Employee financial wellness
  6. Family support obligations, the effect on productivity and well-being
  7. Chronic illness effect on productivity
  8. Multi-generational workforce
  9. Delayed retirement – productivity and performance challenges
  10. Delayed retirement – employees working past normal retirement age.

Top 10 Group Benefits Priorities

  1. Escalating drug costs generally
  2. Escalating specialty drug costs in particular
  3. Escalating extended health costs generally
  4. Chronic illness effect on plan costs
  5. Need to personalize employee benefits experience
  6. Rising payroll costs (e.g. minimum wage, CPP contributions)
  7. Compliance/governance obligations
  8. Cost-shifting – public to private
  9. The administrative hassle of employee benefits
  10. National Pharmacare discussions

 


“The key takeaway from our survey is that plan sponsors are keenly aware of the need to manage rising benefits costs, but they also put a high priority on ensuring their employees are engaged and healthy,” commented Canadian health & benefits chief actuary Greg Durant. Durant prefaced that although the top priorities sound contradictory, there are ways for employers to achieve a balance – they will just have to “think outside the box” in order to meet both their workforce objectives while creating value for their people. One suggested method to achieve this balance is to create wellness programs that could potentially reduce overall extended health costs.

Aurora Workplace Solutions design & create custom group benefits plans that meet custom organization goals. Read more about their Group Benefits Plans or contact them today to get started!

If you are ready to set up a group benefit or retirement plan, or just want to learn more about their services, just Click Here For A Quote.

'Creating Brilliant Futures'


Aurora Workplace Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals! 

Trusted Saskatoon Insurance Pro's at Wiegers Financial & Benefits Explain Critical Illness Insurance

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 ownershouseholds, 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- check out more on their Trusted Saskatoon Insurance Advisors listing.

Unpacking Critical Illness Insurance and Why It Matters

No one wants to be told they have a terminal or critical illness. If you suffer from a heart attack, stroke, or cancer you could lead a normal life again. However, you need to plan for the financial cost of surviving a life-altering illness. In this article, we discuss key points about critical illness insurance and ask two Wiegers Financial & Benefits staff members with firsthand experience to explain the impact it has had on their lives.

Pat Kyle’s husband was diagnosed with a critical illness a few years ago after suffering a stroke at the age of 52.

Pat says: “You never think it’s going to happen to you. Everyone lives in a bubble. Even the healthiest people may have an illness at some point. In the moment, you’re so removed from your day-to-day and fixated on your situation that you don’t even think about it. In my case, I came back to work and it wasn’t even on my mind to apply. I was so concerned about my husband’s health. It wasn’t my top priority to fill in the application to submit the claim, but I knew it was there.
As the first employee at Wiegers to go through the critical illness insurance process, it was emotional and gratifying to know that I have that piece of the program to support me. It was very helpful to be able to put a claim in and ease the financial burden. It took away stress. Just the fact that we had it made all the difference in the world. That lump sum payment is a beautiful thing.
I’m now an advocate of both critical illness and life insurance. To me, they’re more important than purchasing an RRSP. My husband had a stroke, then a heart attack, and it builds. These things all work together. Strokes can happen at any time. It doesn’t matter what age. There are so many fundraisers or steak nights for people who are sick. You may know someone who has pulled money out of RRSPs to help their child have a chance to survive. Critical illness insurance protects the wealth that you’ve created and that others around you have created, too. It supports the family, not just the person affected by the illness.”


Kim Chicoine’s husband was involved in a serious accident at a young age that left a lot of uncertainty about whether he would survive.

Kim says: “Sitting in the hospital beside my husband, I didn’t have to worry about the finances if things went the other way. Knowing that there wasn’t going to be a change in our finances because we had that critical illness piece in our puzzle was so huge. There was the potential that if his condition didn’t improve, we could have a critical illness payout. We ended up not getting the payout because he got better. It’s great when it pays out, but it’s also great when it doesn’t. The money stress is not there. You know your finances aren’t going to change and you’re covered.”

What is critical illness insurance?

Critical illness insurance is meant to relieve the financial burden of recovery, so you can focus on the task at hand. It can be purchased for children as young as 60 days up to those at or nearing retirement.

It’s one of the newest products on the personal insurance market, having been available in Canada for approximately 20 years and internationally for nearly 40 years.

Critical illness insurance is a “wealth-protecting product”, says Pat Kyle. It keeps your finances at status quo – maintaining your debt, bills, mortgage, etc. – while you focus on getting better.

Why did the need for critical illness insurance arise?

A South African cardiac surgeon, Dr. Marius Barnard, pioneered critical illness insurance after he noticed his surviving patients were struggling financially. While it was excellent that his patients were living after experiencing a life-threatening illness like heart disease, Dr. Barnard observed they experienced a significant drop in their standard of living. The patients who had overcome surgery had emerged to a world where their quality of life suffered due to the costs associated with recovery.

Which conditions are classified as a critical illness?

Each insurance carrier’s definition of critical illness differs slightly. In general, there are 26 covered conditions with the top three being stroke, heart attack, and cancer.

What’s the benefit of using critical illness insurance?

The payout is designed to help support yourself and your family during extremely difficult personal health challenges. You can get policies starting as low as 25 thousand dollars in a tax-free cheque that you don’t need to declare on your tax return.

The value of critical illness insurance is totally dependent on your personal situation, for instance:

  • a stay-at-home parent could provide for their family with their partner’s critical illness payout;
  • a self-employed individual would need critical illness insurance to cover them in the absence of workplace benefits such as long- and short-term disability;
  • or a recent grad would be able to maintain their student debt payments, etc. while going through treatments.

It’s important that you consider both life insurance and critical illness in tandem. Each situation will vary in priority as to when they’re paid out. There is no one-solution-fits-all insurance product.

When is the best time to buy critical illness insurance?

The ideal time to buy critical illness insurance is when you’re healthy. If you’re not in good health, it’s a more difficult application process.

Kim Chicoine’s husband is still young, but his health has changed. If the Chicoine’s didn’t have critical illness insurance prior to the accident, they would likely be declined. Because they had it, they will continue to have it in the future.

Family history also comes into play during the underwriting process of critical illness. Your parents’ diagnoses can affect your application, so it’s best to apply while they’re healthy.

What happens to your life insurance after using critical illness insurance?

Nothing happens to your personal life insurance after you use critical illness insurance. It depends on your personal life insurance that you’ve been medically underwritten for with an insurance carrier. If you’ve continued to pay the premiums, your life insurance is still enforced. It is difficult to get life insurance after making a critical insurance claim, so it’s better to have both products beforehand. You’ll want your advisor to package life insurance with critical insurance when you’re healthy.

How long, on average, does it take to get paid after a diagnosis?

There is a clause that says you need to pass a survival period of 30 days. After that, payment can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month. After the survival period, your doctor will need to give evidence to support the need. The decision to payout is dependent on the attending physician’s statement and all other sources.

How can the funds be used once they’ve been distributed?

If you pass the 30-day survival period, there are no restrictions on how you use the money once it’s been paid out. You decide how to use it. For example, you could use it to cover experimental medical treatment to see specialists that may not be covered by the Canadian health care system.

What will purchasing a premium do?

You can upgrade a base policy with a simple lump sum payout by adding riders. When you add additional riders it adds additional costs, but it can help in certain situations to have the return of premiums.

Here are a few riders to consider:

  1. Return of premium on death rider: the lump sum won’t get paid out, but your beneficiary will be paid out what you have paid into the policy.
  2. Disability waiver premium: if you become disabled, the insurance company waives the premiums.
  3. Rider name? If you have a policy for 15 years, you can give back the policy and get back everything you put into it. Once the policy is finished you get all your premiums back.
  4. Second event rider: pays out if the second condition is different than the first.

Prioritize your future self

Pat Kyle says: “Critical illness insurance manages the risk of what could happen in your early years, so you don’t have to take money out of savings. My financial priorities are 1. life insurance, 2. critical illness insurance, 3. slush fund, 4. RRSP. Yes, saving is important. But if something comes up your savings aren’t going to last. In my opinion, it’s not about 'should I get critical illness insurance?' it’s 'why shouldn’t I have critical illness insurance?' Protect your future self.”
Kim Chicoine says: “Peace of mind is important. In Pat’s situation, it paid out, in mine it didn’t. But I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the hospital without it. I wouldn’t have been able to focus on my husband; I would have been stressed out about our finances.”


Your ability to earn an income is worth more than your house and vehicle combined. Everyone gets coverage for their material possessions and it’s important to insure yourself, too. The best time to start the process is when you’re healthy and you don’t think you’ll ever need it. Speak to a financial advisor at Wiegers Financial & Benefits about finding an affordable critical illness policy.

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 Wiegers 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 Financial Advisors At Wiegers Financial & Benefits Tips on Financial Health

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 ownershouseholds, retirees, and students with expert investment and insurance planning services to help them reach their long-term financial goals. Wiegers Financial & Benefits  are Trusted Saskatoon Financial Advisors 

How Planning for Your Financial Success is Good for Your Health

If you’re like many Canadians – four out of ten of them, to be exact – you feel stressed when you think about money.  And while some stress is not necessarily problematic, chronic stress can lead to:
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Immune functioning problems
  • Unhealthy habits including smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol
Stressing about money, then, can be harmful to your physical health (not to mention the potential negative impacts to your mental health, relationships, productivity at work, and a whole host of other things in your life). It’s a problem worth solving… and the sooner, the better.


The solution, in many cases, is working with a financial advisor who can help you plan for your financial success. Your advisor should, at minimum, talk with you about what matters to you, what your short- and long-term life goals are, and what you can realistically achieve (and in what timeframe). And it pays off, in more ways than one. In a recent survey, people who said they are financially prepared were:
  • Almost 24% more likely to exercise one or more hours each week
  • Almost 25% are more likely to say they are “very healthy”
So what can you do to be better financially prepared? Here are a few tips to help strengthen both your financial and physical health:
  1. Work with a financial advisor (a HUMAN advisor – not a robot) who can help get you from where you are to where you want to be. Don’t underestimate this step. If you decide against working with an expert, it’s akin to providing yourself life-altering legal or medical advice that could also wreak havoc on the lives of the people you love most. By contrast, if you work with a financial advisor, he or she will genuinely care to help you achieve your goals, and will have the experience and expertise to help you do it.
  2. Manage your debt. For most Canadians, debt causes stress – and the higher the debt, the greater the chance of depression and high blood pressure. Again, a qualified financial advisor can help you develop a plan for getting your debt – and the resulting stress – under control.
  3. Save for your future. If you’re among the 60% of Canadians who worry they won’t have enough money saved for their golden years, don’t despair. You-know-who can also help you develop a plan for saving that will help ensure a retirement you can look forward to.
If you’re not sure where to turn in finding a financial advisor who will work in your best interests now and in years to come, ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they can recommend someone. You can also, and probably should, look online for unbiased, uncensored reviews like on Google. The same as in every other industry, some advisors have more experience and better reputations than others, so it’s important you do your research. It’s worth it to invest the time, now and later, in helping to ensure your future financial success.


Wiegers Financial & Benefits has a trusted team of more than 20 financial advisors and support staff includes individuals who are true experts in their field, a number of whom specialize in working with clients with very unique needs. 

Wiegers Financial & Benefits  are Trusted Saskatoon Financial Advisors 


Trusted Saskatoon community welcomes Aurora Workplace Solutions to the Saskatoon Insurance Category

The Trusted Saskatoon team is thrilled to welcome Aurora Workplace Solutions Inc. to the Trusted Saskatoon community. They have joined the Trusted Saskatoon insurance category, and offer insurance products, group benefits, retirement plans, seminars, and trainingAurora Workplace Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals! 

Have You Heard of Aurora Workplace Solutions? 

Aurora Workplace Solutions has over 50 years of combined experience in the industry. They have a reputation for working hard to provide new and improved ideas to serve their clients, and they are always looking to offer an outstanding level of care and professionalism. 

Small and large business owners alike are generally spinning lots of plates. They are busy working on and in their business, and they often rely on Trusted 3rd party advisors to assist them with major financial decisions. The categories most need assistance with are insurance, accounting, legal, HR, and group benefits.  Aurora Workplace is a wonderful choice to assist with several of these areas, and they can be counted on to provide the best possible advice and recommendations for each client and their unique needs. 

Collin Willms is well known in Saskatoon, pre-covid he was a regular attendee at networking events, and consistently stepped up to volunteer his time for various local organizations and charitable events and causes. Collin has great personal style and an easy friendly smile, so it is no surprise that he came highly recommend to the Trusted team by his clients. Collin heads up a stellar team of advisors from across Saskatchewan, as Aurora has offices in Saskatoon, Tisdale, and most recently Regina.  

The insurance and group benefits industry is full of confusing acronyms, and there are so many options to consider; getting the right advice is key! It is great to have a trusted local team focused on finding the right options for their clients' individual circumstances. Aurora takes the time to explain the why and the how, they are not the kind of company that you just hear from once a year at renewal time. When we spoke to Auroras clients we heard repeatedly how they considered Aurora to be a part of their team. 

Also, it was noted several times that they go out of their way to get to know their client's businesses really well, this means they can recommend them to their other clients and networks. Collin even went as far as signing up for challenging cross-fit classes with one of his clients Chad, Owner of Synergy Strength and Conditioning,  and now he is a committed cross-fitter who regularly brings guests along, including other clients.  When it comes down to it, the Aurora team are great relationship builders and that is a real strength in the financial industry. 

Don't just take it from us, read the real words from Aurora clients that Trusted representatives gathered. We call and survey the clients of businesses that apply to be a part of Trusted. This is just part of our in-depth Trusted Verification Process and it is a pass or a fail.  We are happy to share that Aurora Workplace Solutions were rated highly by every single client we spoke to, and they passed all of our tests and checks with flying colours. 


"Collin Willms and the team at Aurora Workplace Solutions have been easy, straight forward, and helpful, throughout all our business requirements.  They are quick to respond to questions and offer solutions.  We at CJ Karz auto service are very satisfied with our business with Colin and Aurora Workplace solutions.”- Matt Jamieson and Angela downing at CJ Karz Auto service.


"We've been working with Collin from Aurora Workplace Solutions for a few years now and appreciate their great service and knowledge base. I definitely rate them a 10 out of 10 and would highly recommend them to other business owners looking for workplace benefits for themselves and their employees." Dave - Owner, DDIY Disaster Services & RenosTrusted Saskatoon Disaster Services Contractor



Aurora Workplace Solutions are well equipped to serve any client. If you need help growing your business.  Check out their listing in the Saskatoon Insurance Category

If you are ready to set up a group benefit or retirement plan, or just want to learn more about their services, just Click Here For A Quote

'Creating Brilliant Futures'


Aurora Workplace Solutions are Trusted Saskatoon Group Benefits and Insurance Professionals! 

 


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