Employer benefit plans crucial to workers' mental, financial health: Report

What are most popular benefits with Canadians?

Employer benefit plans crucial to workers' mental, financial health: Report

Providing workers with an array of benefits plays a huge role in their overall wellbeing, according to a recent report.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of working Canadians who have access to employer-provided benefits rate their overall wellbeing as good or excellent, compared to 49 per cent of those without these benefits, according to the report.

Also, those with employer-provided benefits experience higher overall mental health (65 per cent, up five per cent from 2022) than those without benefits (51 per cent, down two per cent from 2022).

And 54 per cent of workers with employer-provided benefits reported their overall financial health as being good or excellent, compared to 33 per cent of workers who don’t have these benefits.

"There is a sense of stability that comes with knowing that your needs and the needs of your family will be taken care of in case of the unexpected, and that definitely contributes to feelings of overall well-being," says Andrejka Massicotte, head of Group Benefits, RBC Insurance.

"Considering all of the possible situations that can happen in life, having comfort that you will be able to focus on recovery rather than the cost of care if you get sick, or that you will be able to access mental health supports and services and well-being programs if you need them, can have a very positive impact on your financial and mental health. Group benefits offer a peace of mind that allows you to focus on the important things in your life."

Currently, 51 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials are living paycheck to paycheck, reports Leger.

What benefits do workers want?

Nearly nine in 10 (89 per cent) of workers who have access to tailored employee benefits find it important, according to RBC’s survey of 1,000 working Canadians, conducted between July 6 and July 10, 2023.

Overall, 83 per cent of Canadians who have access to these plans say they are happy with their current benefits, and 87 per cent feel they have a good understanding of what is offered to them.

The features workers desire most from an employer-provided benefits plan are:

  • access to doctors and specialists (73 per cent)
  • online pharmacies (72 per cent)
  • online prescription glasses (65 per cent)
  • online mental health and wellness programs (61 per cent)
  • services for wellness and management of chronic diseases (57 per cent)

Nearly half (49 per cent) of workers employed by small companies would choose health benefits over the extra cash, found a previous survey by Blue Cross of Canada.

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