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Escalating costs and employee engagement top benefits and workforce priorities for employers

Aon survey finds employers are uniformly concerned about managing benefits costs

TORONTO (September 6, 2018) – Canadian employers place a high priority on employee productivity, engagement and wellness, but they are also concerned about the escalating costs of group benefits, and in particular the costs of drugs and extended health care. Those are the key findings of a new survey from Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, which interviewed Canadian group benefit plan sponsors to identify their Top 10 benefits and workforce priorities.

“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,” said Greg Durant, Canadian Health & Benefits Chief Actuary, Aon. “Those might seem like competing priorities, but our view is that employers can achieve a balance. To do that, they need to take a hard look at the interaction of benefits and workforce priorities, and be willing to think outside the box. Could wellness programs reduce overall extended health costs? Might a more personalized benefits experience help attract and retain engaged employees? There are plenty of creative strategies out there for employers to meet their workforce objectives while satisfying the bottom line.”

Top 10 Group Benefits Priorities   Top 10 Workforce Priorities
1 Escalating drug costs generally 1 Employee productivity/engagement
2 Escalating specialty drug costs in particular 2 Employee wellness
3 Escalating extended health costs generally 3 Attracting, retaining employees; developing skills for changing business environment
4 Chronic illness, effect on plan costs 4 Workplace mental health
5 Need to personalize employee benefits experience 5 Employee financial wellness
6 Rising payroll costs (e.g. minimum wage, CPP contributions) 6 Family support obligations, effect on productivity and well-being
7 Compliance/governance obligations 7 Chronic illness, effect on productivity
8 Cost-shifting - public to private 8 Multi-generational workforce
9 Administrative hassle of employee benefits 9 Delayed retirement - productivity and performance challenges
10 National Pharmacare discussions 10 Delayed retirement - employees working past normal retirement age


For more information, please visit the survey.


Media contacts

For further information please contact the Aon media team: Alexandre Daudelin, +1.514.982.4910.  

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