December is an extra busy time of year. With hosting and attending Holiday parties and kids' events, travelling and work, schedules quickly becomes condensed.
Work demands still prevail.
So how do you help employees stay motivated and keep focused? Here are 5 tips for leaders to help employees keep focused and well positioned to successfully greet the new year:
May you look back on this year and reflect on your achievements with pride and may you take time to enjoy the simple pleasures this festive season holds. On behalf of my entire team and my wife, Jill, I wish you and yours all the best for a wonderful Holiday and a healthy and happy new year.
Is your workplace "connected"? A recent survey done by Rogers indicated that 33% of Canadians want the ability to work from anywhere and they are willing to give up something including salary, vacation or benefits in order to get it.
Rogers Connected Workplace Report shows that 50 percent of Canadians surveyed believe it is important to work with the latest technology. The problem these respondents say is a lack of access to resources or workplace policies to make being connected anywhere a reality. Currently, Canadians spend most of their workday using traditional workplace devices such as desktop computers and landlines. In the future, Canadians would prefer to use laptops, tablets and smartphones as primary work devices.
The workplace is shifting and employers who address the fact that evolving technologies will influence productivity and drive innovation will likely increase their ability to attract and retain talent.
Here are the major trends that surfaced from the Rogers Connected Workplace Report:
In a 2011 study conducted by Cisco, 45% of workers under age 30 said that they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. At least 29% globally said the absence of remote access would influence their job decisions.
Employers who realize that reinventing the workplace to allow employees to connect using devices of their choosing and who facilitate mobility will create more opportunities for motivated and engaged workers.
To discuss ways to attract and engage employees, please contact us. We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
If you've been reading the news in the last few months, you've likely noticed that a debate has been heating up about whether to increase the size of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits through higher contributions or not.
These days, retirement security seems to be a topic that is on the minds of many politicians. A problem exists for Canadians; many spend more than they save and the problem only seems to be worsening. Some Canadians feel that expanding CPP will provide retirement security to all and help address the continuing decline of workplace pensions while others argue that it will subsidize people who don't really need financial assistance.
What do you know about CPP? Presently, the average CPP benefits hover around $500 to $600 monthly with a maximum at $1000. For Canadians with an annual earnings of $50,000, CPP benefits replace a quarter of these earnings. Contributions are 9.9% of earnings and are split between employee and employer to a maximum annual contribution ceiling.
What is the CPP debate all about? Well, if CPP increases the replacement rate to include incomes up to $104,000 per eligible individual, then a married couple could receive over $200,000 in CPP income. This is the recommendation put forward by the government of Prince Edward Island and it reflects changes to be made within 3 years. Their proposal would have CPP benefits increase from 25 percent to 40 percent for incomes between $26,000 and $52,000 and a new replacement rate of 15 percent for incomes between $52,000 and 104,000.
What about self employed Canadians? They must pay both the employer and the employee share of contributions or the full 9.9 percent of pensionable earnings at $4,712.40. An increase in the contributions rates will not favourably incent small business entrepreneurs.
Some thought leaders on the subject are weighing in with the notion that increasing CPP's maximum pensionable earnings to $75,000 would help a significant number of Canadians save more and would be a more palatable compromise when considering P.E.I.'s recommendation.
Also in the news, there has been a great deal of discussion about Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) and if they are would help motivate Canadians to save more for retirement. The idea of making PRPPs mandatory doesn't seem to be sitting well as a solution, yet if they remain voluntary, will PRPPs be taken seriously and will the uptake be what is needed to help Canadians achieve a realistic level of financial security at retirement?
As the debate continues, so does the problem for our country. Unsecured debt continues to skyrocket and a recent study by BMO indicated that Canadian baby boomers (born between 1945-1964) have saved about $228,000 for retirement when what they need to save is likely closer to $1 million. These boomers are realizing that although they'd like to retire at age 59, they anticipate working until at least age 63.
Whether changes to CPP will help, the reality is that urgent messages to younger Canadians are needed - it is never too soon to think beyond your immediate financial situation. Keeping an eye on the future and putting away 10 percent of savings annually now will make a huge difference in helping lock in financial security in a way that the cohorts ahead of Generation Y (born between 1980-2000) are now struggling to achieve.
For information about how to engage plan members to save for retirement, please contact us. We're here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
Dave Dickinson, B.Comm, CFP, CLU, CHFC
Experienced Benefits Specialist ready to optimize your group benefits and pension plans.