Why isn’t everybody flexing their benefits?

Many HR professionals continue to stare down a double-barreled challenge of rising costs and employee expectations for benefits that address individual needs.
By Ashim Khemani
|CHRR, Guide to Pensions & Benefits|Last Updated: 06/27/2001

When the concept of flexible benefits first found its way into Canada from the U.S. in the early 1980s, it held out a tantalizing promise: greater control over escalating health-care costs, and an enhanced ability to meet the changing benefit needs of employees with increasingly diverse lifestyles and preferences.

After a slow start, flex began to spread widely and now appears in some form or other in approximately 40 per cent of benefit plans. Even the opportunity for employees to elect additional amounts of optional life coverage is a type of flexible benefit.