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News   December 8, 2023   by Adam Malik

The importance of employer benefits

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There’s a disparity in the overall well-being of working Canadians based on access to employer-provided benefits, a recent study has found.

Two-thirds of Canadians with access to benefits report their overall well-being as “good” or “excellent.” By contrast, fewer than half (49 per cent) without these perks feel the same, reported a new study from RBC Insurance.

The divergence is even more pronounced in mental health. There’s been an uptick in the mental health of those with benefits, from 60 per cent to 65 per cent since 2022. Those without saw a two-point to 51 per cent over the same period. Furthermore, four in five (81 per cent) of the those with employer benefits believe their company fosters a satisfactory work/life balance.

Financial health also showcases a pronounced gap. More than half (54 per cent) of Canadians with employer benefits rate their financial well-being positively — or those without, that number drops to 33 per cent, according to RBC.

Access to benefits appear to be influenced by income brackets. Households earning less than $40,000 annually have access to benefits at a much lower rate (44 per cent) compared to those earning between $60,000-$100,000 (83 per cent).

Older millennials, aged 35-44, appear to be the most financially strained. Only 44 per cent feel positive about their financial status. A potential reason: Debt burden. In 2019, this age group had a debt-to-disposable income ratio of 250 per cent, a sharp rise from around 150 per cent for the same age group in 1999. With looming mortgage renewals, this age bracket could face a staggering 25 per cent spike in monthly payments soon.

Andrejka Massicotte, RBC Insurance’s head of group benefits, highlighted the emotional stability stemming from secured benefits.

“Knowing that you and your family are covered during unforeseen events greatly enhances feelings of overall wellbeing,” she said, further noting that invaluable peace of mind that comes from assurance in healthcare, mental health support and other services without fretting over costs.

“These benefits allow individuals to concentrate on life’s crucial aspects,” Massicotte added.

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