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Here’s some clarity on workplace benefits

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in BrighterLife, Employee Benefit News, Sun Life | 0 comments

By Sheryl Smolkin

It’s difficult for a one-size-fits-all benefits plan to meet the needs of today’s diverse, multigenerational workforce. That’s why many employers are introducing flexible benefits programs that feature health spending accounts (HSAs) to give employees more choice.

What are flex plans?

There are three main types of flexible benefits plans:

  1. Modular plans. These allow you to spend flex dollars (called “credits”) assigned by your employer on one of several (usually three) plan designs and price tags. You can allocate any unused credits to an HSA or take them in taxable cash, which you can use for other purposes, such as topping up group RRSP contributions.
  2. Core-plus plans. These provide a compulsory level of coverage for key benefits such as life, disability and supplemental health insurance. You can purchase additional coverage at a subsidized cost.
  3. Cafeteria plans. These have the most flexibility and are generally offered only by very large employers. Your employer assigns you a number of flex credits to use for buying the coverage you require from a broad menu, and you may allocate any unused credits to your HSA or take them in taxable cash.

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