REMINDER: If you have Orange or Green Leaf coverage
Your HCSA money is part of your benefits coverage, but it can only be carried over for one year. If you have money left in your account from 2020, it will expire on December 31, 2021 – so make sure you spend it soon.
You can check your HCSA balance any time by signing in to Canada Life’s GroupNet > Coverages & balances.
Still have money left in your HCSA for this year?
It’s a good time to consider what you might use it for. Some ideas? You can use it for one or two bigger items, or for a bunch of smaller expenses. For example, you can submit claims to help:
- Pay for or subsidize the cost of vision care/glasses – or prescription sunglasses – above your coverage amount;
- Cover prescription drug co-pay amounts;
- Cover dental costs or other medical expenses that may not be covered for you; or
- Get a massage or chiropractic adjustment – pay for additional paramedical costs over your limit/year per practitioner type.
Keep in mind...
On Jan 1, 2022, Green and Orange Leaf members will receive a new deposit to use for the coming year.
starts in November
You may want to start thinking about your benefits needs, and if anything has changed for you.
A reminder that the HCSA can be used to help pay for medical, prescription drug and dental-related expenses that are not otherwise covered under the CB Benefits plan (or any other private or government healthcare plan), but that are allowed under the Income Tax Act for you or your dependants.
Eligible HCSA expenses: The list may surprise you
> Here’s a summary list of eligible expenses.
There are literally hundreds of expenses that can be covered. For a complete list, refer to subsection 118.2(2) of the Income Tax Act. Additional information on many of these expenses can be found at www.canada.ca in the Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1: Medical Expense Tax Credit section.
Making HCSA claims is easy! Here’s how…
Just sign in to Canada Life’s GroupNet > Make a claim > Start online claim.
- If you are filing a claim that will be partially paid under Health, Drugs, Vision or Dental, then start with that. When you get a question that asks: “If your plan only covers part of the expense, do you want your spending account to cover the rest?” Click YES. That’s it!
- If you are filing a claim that is entirely an HCSA expense, then choose Healthcare Spending Account and follow the instructions.
Of course, you can still file a claim with a paper form too. You can get forms here.
NOTE: If you can claim an expense under another plan (such as the health and dental plan, your spouse’s benefits plan or a government drug plan), you must do that first before submitting your claim under the HCSA.
If you have questions about the HCSA and how to make claims, please contact Canada Life at 1‑800‑957‑9777, weekdays 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern time.
Want a refresher and tips for benefits re-enrolment?
Sign up for our October 27 webinar!
Benefits: Getting ready for re-enrolment
> LEARN MORE & REGISTER NOW
Tags: benefits, HCSA, healthcare spending account
Compound growth is a powerful investment strategy – a magic trick that allows you to make money from your own money. Sounds too simple, right? Let’s break it down into 3 steps:
1. You put your money in an investment
2. The investment delivers a return, which you then reinvest
3. Over time, the continuous reinvestment of these returns produces even greater returns
And there you have it – compound growth. Told you it was simple.
The surprising tale of three investors
Still skeptical? Here’s a story of three fictional investors, each of whom invested an identical amount of money over the course of 20 years. To make it easy, let’s assume all three earned the same annual return of 3.5% each year until the age of 65.
The only difference is the year they started to save. The results will surprise you, guaranteed.
Anna saved $3,000 per year – or $250 per month – from age 25 to 35.
She then stopped contributing, but the money in her investment account continued to earn a 3.5% return,
which was continually reinvested until she retired at age 65.
Yindi didn’t embark on her investment journey until she turned 35.
She needed to pay off her student debt first, which is important.
At age 35, she started to put away the same amount of money as Anna – $3,000 per year – until the age of 45.
Yindi also left the money invested, where it earned a 3.5% return each year and continued to grow until she also retired at age 65.
Luis was late to the party and wasn’t able to start saving until he was 45.
Like Anna and Yindi, he invested $3,000 per year for a decade, stopping when he reached age 55.
Like the two women, Luis left his money to accrue at a rate of 3.5% until he too turned 65 and retired.
All three investors managed to put away the same amount – $30,000 – over a period of 10 years.
So, their ending balances at retirement should be comparable, right? Wrong. In fact, they were drastically different.
As you can see, Anna ended up with double the amount in Luis’ account!
What explains this huge difference? TIME.
It’s simply the power of compound growth. All three investors earned the same annual market return of 3.5% over the course of their investing lives. However, Anna took advantage of compound growth’s most impactful feature: TIME.
Even though Anna stopped saving at age 35 – investing nothing more for 30 years – her money kept on growing for decades. Due to their later starts, Yindi and Luis’s success had to rely more on their annual savings of $3,000, rather than compound growth.
See? The most powerful tool in an investor’s toolbox is time.
(Saying that phrase three times fast is far more difficult than the concept of compound growth.)
The moral of the story?
While it’s not always easy to find money to put away at the beginning of your career, even a tiny amount can get you started – and helps a lot in the long run. The earlier you can start, the more significant your long-term results will be, but it’s never too late to start either... because every little bit counts in retirement.
Compound growth is the fairy godmother of investing – turning pumpkins into chariots and small contributions into your retirement income. It’s how you can make retirement dreams come true. Bippity Boppity Boo.
Tags: Retirement, Savings
A great new addition to your CB Benefits plan
NEW! Healthcare online by Consult+
Skip the waiting room, and save time for the things that matter. Use this new “virtual care” service to get care 24/7 by text or video chat.
Starting July 1, 2021, you have access to quality healthcare, reimagined. It’s all part of supporting the wellbeing of you and your family. Ask questions, get treatment, renew prescriptions, get referrals, and keep well.
Consult+ provides you with 24/7 secure online access to Canadian healthcare professionals on demand. Get care through your mobile device or computer – when and where you need it.
You and your family members can register and use Consult+ for many of the same things you would usually go to your primary healthcare provider for, including:
- Allergies, colds and flu
- Depression and anxiety
- Skin and eye issues
- …and more
The Consult+ clinicians can provide:
- Diagnoses and advice
- Prescriptions (new and renewals)
- Lab and imaging orders
- Specialist referrals
Offered in partnership with Canada Life, Consult+
services are provided through Dialogue – a leading Canadian telemedicine provider.
This new benefit can be a great addition to your regular healthcare team. With your consent, medical notes from your virtual consults can even be shared with your family doctor. Of course, your medical information will never be shared with CBM or with Canada Life.
Now you don’t need to wait for an appointment with your doctor, or spend time travelling to and from physical appointments. Try it the next time you need care!
Learn more now
> All about Consult+
> How to enroll
Create your account now – so it’s ready when you need it!
It’s easy. You can enroll yourself and add any eligible dependent family members to get access to Consult+ care.
Tip: To create your account, have your benefits card handy; you’ll need your plan number and member ID.
Here’s how: Just sign in to GroupNet for plan members, go to Coverage & Balances, select Health and scroll down to Other coverage.
If you have dependant family members, use the drop-down box beside your name to select Family. Add dependants under age 14 to your account. You can also send an email invite to your spouse and eligible dependants over age 14 to create their own accounts.
Questions or feedback
If you have any questions, please sign in to GroupNet for plan members and email Canada Life through the Contact Us.
Tags: benefits, Consult+, online healthcare, virtual healthcare
Un excellent nouvel ajout au régime BC Avantages
NOUVEAU! Des soins de santé en ligne grâce à Consult+
Évitez les salles d’attente et les pertes de temps. Utilisez ce nouveau service de « soins virtuels » pour obtenir des conseils jour et nuit, que ce soit par texto ou conversation vidéo.
À compter du 1er juillet 2021, vous aurez accès à un service réinventé en matière de soins de santé de qualité, offre qui vise à favoriser votre mieux-être et celui de votre famille. Posez des questions, obtenez des traitements, renouvelez vos ordonnances, demandez un renvoi à un spécialiste et, ainsi, restez en santé.
Consult+ vous offre un accès sécurisé en ligne, et ce, jour et nuit et sur demande, à des spécialistes de soins de santé canadiens. Prévalez-vous de ce service sur votre appareil mobile ou votre ordinateur – où et quand vous en avez besoin.
Vous et les membres de votre famille pouvez vous inscrire à Consult+ et l’utiliser pour bon nombre des services qui vous amèneraient à consulter votre fournisseur de soins de santé, dont les suivants-:
- Allergies, rhume et grippe
- Dépression et anxiété
- Problèmes de la peau et des yeux
Les cliniciens de Consult+ peuvent vous fournir :
- des diagnostics et des conseils
- des ordonnances (nouvelles et renouvellements)
- des demandes de tests de laboratoire et de services d’imagerie
- des renvois vers des spécialistes
Offerts en partenariat avec la Canada Vie, les services de Consult+ sont fournis par l’intermédiaire de Dialogue – un important fournisseur de services de télémédecine au Canada.
Ce nouveau service peut représenter un excellent ajout à votre équipe de soins de santé habituelle. Avec votre consentement, les notes médicales rédigées lors de vos consultations virtuelles pourront être transmises à votre médecin de famille. Bien entendu, vos renseignements médicaux ne seront jamais transmis aux MBC ni à la Canada Vie.
Maintenant, vous ne devez plus attendre d’obtenir un rendez-vous avec votre médecin ni consacrer du temps pour vous rendre à son bureau. Essayez ce service la prochaine fois que vous aurez besoin de soins!
Obtenez plus d’info
> Tout sur Consult+
Regardez la vidéo
> Comment s’inscrire
Créez votre compte dès maintenant – de cette façon, il sera prêt le moment venu!
C’est facile. Vous et vos personnes à charge admissibles pouvez vous inscrire à Consult+.
Conseil : Pour créer un compte, ayez votre carte d’avantages sociaux à portée de la main, car vous aurez besoin du numéro du régime et de votre code de participant.
Voici comment : Ouvrez une session dans GroupNet pour les participants, allez à Garanties et soldes, sélectionnez Soins médicaux et rendez-vous à Autres garanties.
Si vous avez des personnes à charge, utilisez la case déroulante près de votre nom pour choisir Famille et ajoutez à votre compte vos personnes à charge de moins de 14 ans. Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un courriel à votre conjoint et à vos enfants de plus de 14 ans pour les inviter à créer leur propre compte.
Questions ou commentaires
Si vous avez des questions, ouvrez une session dans GroupNet pour les participants et envoyez un courriel à la Canada vie à l’aide de la fonction Pour nous joindre.
Tags: avantages, Consult+, des soins de santé en ligne
So, how are you? A recent national survey from CAMH https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19/covid-19-national-survey on the impact of COVID-19 and Mental Health and Substance Use had some startling findings.
CAMH has been studying the impact of COVID-19 since the early spring of 2020. In its latest survey all indicators reported higher negative indicators with 24.3% reporting moderate to severe anxiety, 25.7% engaging in binge drinking, 23.3% felt lonely and 21.7% felt depressed. Covid-19 appears to be impacting the following cohorts more than others with young people aged 18-39, women and households with children reporting higher negative impacts.
Of interest, is that 74.7% of those who reported high to moderate levels of anxiety are somewhat worried or very worried about their finances! This is significantly higher than their anxiety about actually contracting the virus 63.5%. Not surprisingly, those whose employment has been affected or whose job has a higher risk for being exposed to COVID-19 have reported higher propensity for loneliness or depression.
It’s not all bad news. Participants report that the top activities to help cope with pandemic fatigue are connecting socially with friends and family (92.3%), making time to relax (91.2%) and following a routine (91.9%). From my observations of my local conservation areas I think many people are also increasing their outdoor physical activities. (Sure, beats the shopping mall and is a lot cheaper).
Some other suggestions to help during this stressful period of time:
- Disconnect for some extended periods of time from social media and news about the pandemic.
- Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising and maintain good sleep habits.
- Avoid unhealthy substances.
- Pray and meditate.
If you require assistance be sure to reach out to someone. Resources are available including through your workplace EAP program.
To receive assistance call 1-800-387-4765 (English) or 1-800-361-5676 (French) or visit: www.workhealth.com.
This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no cost to you. Counselling is available by telephone, in-person, online, and text-based self-help.
We would love to hear from you. Let us know how you are coping by commenting on this blog.
Most Canadians think the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or its counterpart the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) is a benefit that you simply begin collecting when you turn 65.
But, did you know that you can make your CPP benefits do more for your monthly retirement income?
According to a survey conducted by the Government of Canada, only 36% knew that a CPP/QPP pension could be deferred until after the age of 65, and even fewer (17%) were aware they could defer their Old Age Security (OAS) to start collecting it later.
Delaying the start of CPP can pay off
In an article in The Globe and Mail, Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Director of Financial Security Research at the National Institute on Ageing and an expert on pensions and retirement, said that delaying CPP/QPP benefits for as long as you can is the “safest, most inexpensive pension that money can buy”.
It’s generally accepted (but not widely known) that if you delay taking CPP until age 70, your benefits will increase to about 142% of what they would be if you start taking it at age 65. However, MacDonald’s own research shows that figure is closer to 150% of what you would receive if you started at age 65, and almost 250% compared to if you started at age 60.
How does that work? The way Dr. MacDonald describes it, at age 70 the calculation of how much CPP benefit a person would receive is based on 142% of a calculation known as the Maximum Pensionable Earnings Average. This figure increases with the compounding of inflation and wage growth. If wages increase 1.1% ahead of inflation, that 142% would grow by 1.1% over inflation for each year between age 65 and 70 to reach about 150%.
That’s a pretty drastic improvement! However, MacDonald has said that fewer than one per cent of Canadians choose to delay receiving their CPP benefits until age 70. In fact, she notes that most often Canadians take their CPP benefits at age 60 – as soon as they’re eligible.
The numbers, however, make it pretty clear: If you’re in a position to wait until a later age to receive CPP/QPP benefits, the payoff can be very worthwhile.
If you want to delay taking your CPP/QPP benefits, there are some options that could help supplement your income and bridge the gap – besides having to work for extra years.
As a member of the Canadian Baptist Pension Plan (CBPP), you could:
- begin receiving your DC pension plan benefits before you begin taking CPP/QPP, or
- make use of the CB Benefits plan’s tax-free savings account (TFSA).
Also, if you have a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), you could make use of these funds earlier to help bolster your retirement income and defer receiving CPP/QPP.
Of course, there are some reasons why you may not want to delay taking your CPP/QPP benefits. For instance, if you’re experiencing financial hardship or you have personal considerations such as a shorter life expectancy or illness.
In any event, if you’re approaching your sixties, it’s worth speaking with a financial expert to discuss your retirement income options and whether deferring your CPP/QPP benefits until you’re closer to age 70 is a viable choice for you.
Source for article:
How much do you need to save for retirement? Is there a specific number or percentage of your working income you should be replacing?
According to some experts, it might be less than you think.
A study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that people retiring with modest assets (less than US$200,000, not including the value of their home) still had 75% of their cash assets 18 years into retirement. That percentage rose to 88% when the retirement savings were US$500,000.
It’s true that outliving your savings is a real possibility for retirees. But experts suggest that having more than three-quarters of your cash savings left after 18 years of retirement is spending too cautiously; having 60% left is a more reasonable target.
In other words, not only is it important to have a plan to save for retirement, but it’s also important to have a plan for drawing down those assets in a reasonable and efficient way. Here are some suggestions on how to do that.
Think about your retirement lifestyle – Carefully consider what your lifestyle will look like. Will you travel a lot or stay close to home? Will you downsize your home? What hobbies or activities will you enjoy in retirement, and what are the associated costs?
Your lifestyle will also change over the years. You’ll likely be more active (and spending more) in your 60s and 70s, and then spending more on healthcare or home care in your later years.
Ask for advice – Working with an advisor can be helpful when crafting a plan for retirement and managing your income during your post-working years. Members of the Canadian Baptist Pension Plan (CBPP) have a unique opportunity to work with a retirement consultant to chart the best course.
With the Canadian Baptist Retirement Income Fund, you have access to a unique fund for providing an income stream in retirement. You also have access to a retirement consultant to help you make a plan so that you don’t over or under spend your assets. After all, wouldn’t we all like to have the peace of mind of knowing we are stewarding our funds wisely?
Keep on course – In addition to pre-retirement support, you can work with the consultant during your retirement to help you stay on track. This is key because experts recommend that retirees adjust their budgets in retirement, depending on how their investments and lifestyle choices change.
Take advantage of the in-plan options available – By keeping your money in the CBPP or joining the Canadian Baptist Retirement Income Fund, you’ll continue to benefit from low management and investment fees that you’re currently enjoying as an active member. It’s a more efficient way to maintain your income in retirement and ensure you’re getting the most for your money!
It might take a little time and effort, but with a solid strategy and help from advisors, saving for and planning your retirement isn’t as daunting as you might think. We’re here to help email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the prevalence of DC pension plans continues to rise, the market is now turning its attention to a common challenge: how can we help people turn their DC savings into a reliable retirement income that lasts for the rest of their lives?
In a recent Globe and Mail article, pension expert Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald of the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University suggests the creation of a pooled-risk pension, allowing members to use their DC savings to buy a secure pension income to last them the rest of their days. With this new option, the investment and longevity risks that each member faces would be reduced by pooling together the DC assets of many members. Having many members sharing the investment risk would lessen the impact of a market downturn which would be challenging to handle as an individual investor. And the longevity risk (i.e., the risk of outliving your savings) would be lessened because the large pool of members would allow for an actuary to estimate what will happen each year, and calculate an adequate pension income, with greater certainty.
Unfortunately, the pooled-risk pension isn’t an option in Canada right now. But in the absence of a pooled solution, the Canadian Baptist Pension Plan (CBPP) has some important features to support your transition to retirement and help you with your retirement income solutions.
Group LIF/RIF – When you retire with a DC pension plan, you need to convert your savings into an income stream. Usually, you have a choice between buying an annuity, and/or transferring your savings out of the plan and into a locked-in vehicle [like a life income fund (LIF) for DC pension assets or retirement income fund (RIF) for RRSP assets] at another financial institution. However, the CBPP offers its own in-plan Group LIF/RIF. It’s a progressive approach to managing retirement income – one we’ve put in place to help take care of our members future.
Not all plans offer a Group LIF/RIF, but ours does, and it comes with some important advantages. Keeping your money in the CBPP when you retire allows you to maintain many of the same benefits you have now as an active member. You will pay significantly lower investment fees than what you would pay to invest your funds at your local bank. You’ll also benefit from ongoing oversight of the program by CBPP. You continue to have the same investment options in addition to a special Retirement Fund specifically designed for CBPP retirees.
Ready to Retire – When you’re nearing retirement, support is available free of charge to our members through the Ready to Retire program. This program can help you make informed decisions, fill out paperwork and act as a liaison with financial institutions, if needed. If you have any questions about retirement or the transition process, email email@example.com.
These are just a few examples of the support CBM offers to help you retire successfully. Be sure to read next month’s blog entry on lifestyle expectations in retirement and how they’re connected to how much you need save – you may need less than you think!
The CB Benefits Pension Plan investments are managed by GLC Asset Management (Great West Life). Brent Joyce, Chief Investment Strategist for GLC, talks with Business News Network TV about what investors may expect in 2019.
In this video Highlights of Brent’s interview:
- Today’s debate remains around how much global economies and corporate earnings will grow and, importantly, not how much they will shrink.
- “It’s about moderation” – we believe the economy is slowing but not contracting.
- Corporate earnings growth is likewise shifting from acceleration to moderation (not decline).
- Fixed income’s value as a risk-mitigation tool has increased and will continue to increase the longer we go in the cycle.
- Looking into 2019, we’re cautiously optimistic and expect to see the S&P 500 and the S&P/TSX Composite to trade back up.
Welcome to CBBenefits Blog. This is a location in which we are hoping to engage you! Canadian Baptist Pension and Benefit Plan members. In the coming weeks and months, we hope to address a number of topics that are unique to our plan members. Such as:
- Understanding your benefits and "Choices" during your employment journey
- Discussing the unique features of the Canadian Baptist Pension Plan (CBPP)
- Changing the retirement equation
- Retirement planning
- Financial planning
- The stages of the employment journey
- CPP enhancements
These are just a few of the topics we hope to review. Periodically, we hope to post some interesting articles and add commentary with a twist that links it to your experience. We hope you join us in the conversation.