2017 Summary of Contributions & Benefits
Below you will find ZLC Financial’s annual Summary of Contributions publication related to Canadian statutory programs and the taxation of employee benefits. This summary has been designed to serve as a quick reference guide for your convenience.
We wish to specifically highlight that, effective January 1, 2017, the Employment Insurance (EI) Program has undergone some changes. The waiting period for EI benefits has reduced from 14 consecutive days to 7 consecutive days. The maximum benefit payment period however has not changed and remains at 15 weeks. This now makes the full period for EI eligible benefits 16 weeks, versus the prior 17 weeks. Plan sponsors will need to consider the following:
• If plan sponsors have applied for and been approved for the EI Premium Reduction program, they will need to ensure that their Short Term Disability program (either insured or self-insured) continues to qualify based on the change in the EI waiting period. For example – if your Short Term Disability benefit currently has a waiting period ranging between 8-14 days, you will need to consider the applicable change in order to remain eligible for the applicable EI Premium Reduction. It is important to note that employers will have up to four years to amend their programs.
• If plan sponsors currently provide Long Term Disability benefits to employees, most programs typically include a waiting period of 17 weeks or 119/120 days before these benefits will begin. As many employers rely on EI to compensate employees on a Short Term Disability leave, plan sponsors could consider amending the waiting period for LTD benefits to 16 weeks/112 days to ensure there is no gap in coverage. Rate adjustments may apply as a result of this change. Insurers have advised they will review this issue at the next annual renewal, however employees may experience a one week gap of benefits between EI disability benefits and Long Term Disability coverage.
ZLC Financial will further notify clients of the above EI changes at each renewal and discuss any necessary action.
At ZLC Financial we are not the world’s biggest benefits advisor but we are large enough to have the best people, resources and clients in Western Canada. Our goal is to work with you to find a better way for your employee benefits plan. We provide this value to you by leveraging one of the most skilled benefits teams in the city – almost 250 years of experience within our team of 12 employee benefits specialists. We have been working with organizations ranging from 4 to over 7,000 employees for the past 30 years.
Source: The Canada Revenue Agency