Customplan Financial

Employee Benefits

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Private Health Services Plan (Cost Plus)

The PHSP or the Cost Plus Program is an inexpensive way for incorporated employers to provide health and dental services for themselves, their employees and dependents. Through Serre Financial, the cost of these services are 100% tax deductible to the corporation or incorporated individuals, and are provided tax free to employees under the Plan. As there are no premiums, you never pay for coverage you do not want or use – you simply pay as you go.

This cost-effective program can be used as a stand-alone program, or in conjunction with traditional group plans, as it will pay for eligible health and wellness expenses not covered under existing employee benefit plans.

  How it Works:  

The insured pays for the healthcare expenses, and then submits these receipts with the Claim Form to the employer. The employer submits a cheque covering the cost of the expenses to Equinox Insurance Services (the plan administrator), plus a 10% Service Fee, plus GST on the Service Fee. Both the cost of the expenses and the Service Fee are tax deductible. Equinox Insurance Services then provides the insured with a tax-free reimbursement of the expenses incurred.

  Links to Forms for Cost Plus:  

Corporate Data, Service Agreement, Employee Enrolment Form, Manual, Claim Form, Health Expense Form

The above is meant to give a brief overview of Private Health Services Plans. For more information please contact us at (604) 687-7773 or email us at

Extended Health Care

Extended health care is a benefit you can turn to in times of sickness and injury. This benefit will provide coverage above and beyond what is offered by your provincial medical plan.

Examples of coverage are listed below:

  • Prescription Drugs
  • Convalescence/home services
  • Ambulance services
  • Semi-private hospital room
  • Private duty nursing
  • Appliances and supplies
    • wheelchair, oxygen, casts/splints/crutches
    • orthopaedic
    • diabetic supplies
  • Accidental Dental
  • Paramedical services
    • chiropractic
    • massage therapist
    • naturopath
    • osteopath
    • physiotherapy
    • podiatrist/chiropodist
    • psych
    • acupuncture
    • speech therapist
  • Vision care
    • eye exams
    • glasses, contacts
    • laser eye surgery
    • travel insurance (out-of-province)

The above is meant to give a brief overview of Extended Health Care coverage options. This is only a partial list. For more information please call us at 604.687.7773 or email

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance is generally offered in conjunction with Life Insurance coverage. The amount of coverage is usually equal to the amount of Life Insurance selected by the employer/employee. It provides employees and/or their families with additional benefits should the plan members die, lose a limb, become paralyzed, or lose their hearing, speech or sight as a result of an accident.

The above is meant to give a brief overview of Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance. For more information please contact us at 604.687.7773 or email us at

Critical Illness Insurance

Everyone knows someone affected with a critical illness. You probably know colleagues, relatives, or friends you went to school with who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or who have had heart surgery. They have survived the critical illness and may be working, traveling and enjoying life again. But their lives, and those of their families and business associates, have often been profoundly affected.

When you survive 30 days following the diagnosis of a critical illness, critical illness insurance provides you with a lump sum tax free cash benefit.

Critical Illness Insurance was developed by Dr. Marius Barnard (brother of Christian Barnard, who performed the first successful open heart transplant surgery) in South Africa in 1983. Dr. Barnard saw a need for insurance that paid a “living benefit” to those who survived a major illness to offset lost income and pay additional expenses. Critical Illness insurance is a form of protection that provides immediate funds to you upon diagnosis of a covered condition, like cancer, stroke, or a heart attack. Unlike other types of insurance that provide income replacement if you are seriously ill, critical illness insurance provides a lump sum tax-free benefit that can be used in any way you choose with no restrictions or claw-backs to benefits.

Some Immediate Financial consequence when you suffer from a critical illness include:

  1. Absence from work – You may be covered under disability insurance program and receive a portion of income each month you are not able to work. Disability insurance helps you to cover household expenses, but serious critical illness could be life altering. Receiving only a portion of your income may not be enough. Critical Illness can fill the gap.
  2. The costs for home care during a period of illness and recovery – Your working spouse may need to take a leave of absence to care for you or you may have to pay for private home care. With shorter hospital stays, you may find that home and private housing care services are required to speed the recovery.
  3. Treatment outside of Canada or other medical costs not fully covered under the provincial health plan – Critical Illness insurance can enable you to obtain treatment outside of Canada or pay for experimental treatment not covered under a health care plan.
  4. Children’s education – A life altering illness can impact your ability to save for your children’s education. Critical illness insurance can fund your children’s education.
  5. Early Retirement – If a critical illness results in early retirement or even a change in careers or reduced number of hours, your RSP savings may not be enough to support you
Critical Facts:

Age to Qualify

Critical Illness insurance is available to individuals between the ages of 18 – 65

Amounts Available

Benefits range from $25,000 up to $2,500,000

Who Receives the Benefit?

Most critical illness benefits are paid directly to the individuals insured under the plan and they decide how they wish to use the benefit. Payment of benefit is based on the medical diagnosis of a certified Canadian physician or specialist for the specific condition. Payment is not dependent on your inability to work

Coverage Terms

Most plans cover you until age 75, some companies also have plans available for coverage till age 100

When are the Benefits Payable?

The Critical Illness Benefit is pay when you are diagnosed with a Covered Condition and you survive 30 days

Other Information

Other programs included in some Critical Illness Plans include: Best Doctors, and dialling living assistance

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Administrative Services Only

Under an ASO contract, an insurance company will offer all of the same administrative and claims services that would be provided under an insured arrangement, but the insurance company does not assume any financial risk or liability. The Client is fully responsible for payment of all benefits, claims and demands brought under the benefit plan or ASO contract. Plan administrators provide the following services:

  • Setup and maintain plan and financial records on administration systems.
  • Issue and maintain the ASO contract, plan document and necessary financial documents to support the plan’s funding arrangements.
  • Establish an operating account for the plan, which is credited with deposits and debited with paid claims, expense charges, pool charges, third party commissions (if any) and applicable taxes, and to which applicable interest is charged or credited.
  • Provide preliminary training of plan administrators including an easy-to-follow administration kit.
  • Regular bulletins and communications keep customers informed of issues that may affect their plan.
  • Issue detailed monthly financial statements of all transactions in the operating account. These statements are issued about one week following the month-end.
  • Provide medical underwriting services where applicable
  • Offer benefit cost estimates and other similar actuarial services as needed to help customers understand the impact of plan design changes
  • Our Web-based Group Benefits Reporting services offer a wide range of comprehensive claims and financial reports.
  • Provide a comprehensive annual financial report within three months following the contract anniversary, showing claims and expenses incurred, deposits and interested credited for the year for each operating account, as well as combined results under the contract.
  • Any surplus at year-end is discharged as directed by The Client. Any deficits are payable by The Client to the ASO provider within 30 days following our delivery of the annual financial report for the year.

The above is meant to give a brief overview of Administrative Services Only plans.For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Individual Pension Plan

An Individual Pension Plan (IPP) is a registered defined benefit plan for single participants. It provides contribution amounts in excess of the money purchase pension plan / RRSP contribution limit. Defined benefit pension plans permit larger tax-sheltered contributions for high income employees than does a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP).

  IPP’s are attractive to both the individual and the firm. Some of the benefits include:  

  • They offer higher deductible contributions than RRSPs
  • Contributions increase in age whereas the maximum RRSP contributions are set
  • Assets are creditor proof
  • The employer can deduct the contributions and fees associated with an IPP
  • Ability to “top up” the contributions if the return on investments is not sufficient to meet the defined benefits
  • Can fund for prior years of employment even if RRSPs are maximized
  • Employers can deduct interest from borrowed funds used to fund contributions as a business expense
  • Investment rules for an IPP are the same as an RRSP (e.g. foreign content and eligible investments)
  • IPP can be managed like an RRSP

An IPP is ideal for an owner/manger, a professional (doctors, dentists etc.) with a professional corporation, executive of a private or public company who receives remuneration from the sponsoring firm. Normally the individual is at least 40 years of age and is already able to maximize their RSP contributions.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Alternative Benefit Plans

  Flex Plans  

Flex benefits plans are growing in popularity in the Canadian workplace, because they offer both employers and employees a smarter and more dynamic way of addressing their insurance needs.

Flex insurance does more than just offer a diverse workforce greater freedom of choice in selecting benefits. With a well structured flex plan, employees can get the benefits they want and employers can still keep a handle on costs.

But the same things that make flex plans dynamic and smart can also make them more complicated. Employers and employees alike have to grapple not only with a new benefits scheme, but a whole new vocabulary. The results can be bewildering. Why use “flex credits” instead of dollars? Which level of coverage is best? What does tax efficiency mean, and how can one achieve it?

That’s why the right communications strategy is crucial to making a flex plan work. Employers have to make sure employees aren’t baffled or overwhelmed by the choices offered to them.

What counts is understanding what flex is and how it works.

  What is a flexible benefits plan?  

A flexible benefits plan is just what it says it is: a plan that lets employees choose the benefits and levels of coverage they want. But different flex plans offer different degrees of flexibility: some just allow employees broader benefits choices, while others actually allow employees to choose the way their employer’s money will be spent on benefits.

  The advantages of flex plans  

Flex plans offer a number of advantages to both employees and employers.

For employees:

  • Flexible benefits allow employees to “customize” their benefits plan to better suit their individual or family needs.
  • Employees can drop coverage they don’t need and bolster the coverage they do.

For employers:

  • Employers can better contain costs over the long term, because they can better budget and control their benefit expenditures.

For employers and employees:

  • Flex plans also exploit tax efficiencies unavailable in traditional plans to the benefit of both employer and employee.

There are a number of reasons that employees and employers may want to consider flex insurance plans. Because flex plans make the most of resources, they are equally useful in a number of different situations:

  • A company seeking to expand its benefits package with new money.
  • A company shifting from a traditional to a flex plan can rearrange its current spending and introduce new benefits at no extra cost.
  • If the current plan is richer than employees need, they can cut back to a core plus credits approach. Core plus credits can also be used to cut back on costs if the benefits package costs too much for the company to run, and can also be used to soften the blow in times of fiscal restraint.

  Flexible Credits  

For convenience the employer’s funds used to contribute to a flex plan are called flexible credits. They are usually worth a dollar. Flexible credits give more bang for the buck when it comes to paying for coverage.

When employees buy their coverage through payroll deductions, which come off their paycheque after tax has already been paid, they may have to earn $150 in order to buy $100 of benefits.

Flexible credits are different. They are not taxed until after they are spent, and the way they’re taxed depends on how the employee spends them. The bottom line is that an employee can purchase $100 of coverage with $100 worth of flex credits, which they can’t do with payroll deductions.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Dental Care

We all need to maintain the health of our teeth and gums. Dental care coverage will do just that. Examples of coverage are listed below.

  Basic Coverage  

  • diagnostic services
    • examinations
    • x-rays
  • preventative services (prevent dental disease)
    • cleanings, fluoride
  • restoration services (treatment of dental cavities)
    • fillings, metal or plastic restorations
  • periodontal services (services required to treat the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth)
  • endodontic services – root canals
  • denture repair services – repair broken dentures, rebase and realign dentures

  Major Coverage  

  • Crowns, bridges, dentures

Orthodontic Coverage  

  • exams, x-rays, diagnostic

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Employee Assistance Programs

Employees and their household members may use EAPs. To help manage issues that could adversely impact their work and personal lives. EAP counsellors typically provide assessment, support, and if needed, referrals to additional resources. These programs are becoming increasingly more common in today’s worksites. The issues for which EAPs provide support vary, but examples include:

  • substance abuse
  • safe working environment
  • emotional distress
  • major life events, including births, accidents and deaths
  • health care concerns
  • financial or legal concerns
  • family/personal relationship issues
  • work relationship issues
  • concerns about aging parents

Confidentiality is maintained in accordance with privacy laws and professional ethical standards. Employers do not know who is using their employee assistance programs; unless there are extenuating circumstances and the proper release forms have been signed. In some circumstances, an employee may be advised by management to seek EAP assistance due to job performance or behavioural problems. The goal of these supervisory referrals is to help the employee retain their job and get assistance for any problems or issues that may be impacting their performance.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Funding of Buy/Sell Agreements

Depending on the structure of the Buy-Sell Arrangement, the corporation may own policies (or a multi-life policy) insuring the life of each shareholder. Or each shareholder may own a policy on the life of every other shareholder. The owner of each policy is also the beneficiary of the policy.

If the life insurance is owned personally by the shareholders, when one shareholder dies, the surviving shareholders receive a death benefit which is used to buy the deceased person’s shares.

If the life insurance is owned by the corporation, when a shareholder dies, the corporation receives the death benefit. The corporation receives a credit to its capital dividend account (CDA), equal to the excess of the proceeds received over the adjusted cost basis of the policy. The corporation may use the death benefit to buy back the deceased person’s shares directly, or it may pay a dividend to facilitate the purchase of the deceased person’s shares by the surviving shareholders.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Integrated Benefits

  Managing the Costs of Employee Long-Term Disability (LTD) Programs  

Attract and retain . . . attract and retain . . .

As HR professionals, it is a mantra that we are all too familiar with. Our critical Labour shortage has created a climate where employers need to implement unique strategies to attract and retain key employees – one of the most important is benefit program enhancements. Employee’s ranked compensation and benefits as the top two factors required for job satisfaction in a survey conducted this year by the Canadian Society For Human Resource Management.

As the trustees of their employees’ LTD programs, employers are adopting non-traditional benefit plans. These provide the stability and breadth to manage employee expectations and emerging demographic trends.

The baby boomers turned 60 this year and careful consideration is being given to the consequences on LTD premiums. Companies are losing intellectual capital as the boomers start to retire; but with 75% of all LTD claims occurring between the ages of 55 and 65, companies are also faced with what are forecasted to be, unprecedented LTD premium increases.

“Combo” Long-Term Disability Plan Trends

Traditionally, employer sponsored benefits include a mandatory group LTD program. These plans are subject to annual renewals whereby premiums are adjusted according to the group’s claims experience. To manage demographic and critical illness incidence trends (Cancer is the leading cause of LTD claims), employers are implementing cost management tools such as integrated Long-Term Disability strategies.

Combining individual LTD contracts with group programs (typically 50/50 policy split) allows employers to secure locked in premiums, guaranteed contract provisions, and higher non-medical maximums until an employee is 65.

Group LTD

  1. advantage of low cost without compromising quality.

Individual Disability

  1. offers enhanced product features
  2. guarantees the contract provisions until age 65
  3. premium rates guaranteed to age 65 (not subject to annual renewal)
  4. fully portable

Working with specialized benefit providers to find creative solutions to these challenges will enable companies to contain costs, meet employee expectations and align with core business strategies.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Life Insurance

Life Insurance provides you with assurance that your families will be taken care of should you die suddenly or after a prolonged illness. The Life Insurance benefit can be either a flat rate or based on a multiple of the plan member’s earnings.

In addition to basic amounts of Life Insurance, Optional and Dependent Life Insurance are available. Medical evidence of insurability may be required for some coverage. This will be based on amounts requested and the number of individuals in our company.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email

Short and Long Term Disability Insurance

When you unable to work for an extended length of time due to a disability, you lose the ability to earn an income. This will greatly impact your ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones. Meanwhile, your living expenses continue-in fact, they’re likely to increase for a number of reasons. You could need help around the house or have higher medical expenses, for example. That’s where disability income insurance (STD and LTD) comes in. This protection is designed to help you maintain your standard of living when you cannot work. Disability insurance provides you with income to cover your living costs and supplement your income until you can go back to work.

Disability income insurance is needed by just about everyone who earns a living. Surprisingly, single people often need it more than married couples because they don’t have a spouse’s income to fall back on if they are injured or become too sick to work. On the other hand, most married people have a hard time imagining what it would be like to live on one salary when they barely get by on two. And unfortunately, disability strikes more often than you may think.

A Long Term Disability can be very expensive. For example: If a 40 year old person with a salary of $75,000/yr becomes totally disabled, the disability claim can result in a benefit of well over $1,000,000 in benefits paid to that individual.

For more information please contact us at at (604) 687-7773 or email