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The 6 Steps to Setting up an Employee Benefits Plan

22 August 2016 by National Bank

An employee benefits plan will not only help small and medium-sized businesses attract and retain talented staff, but also build their reputation as a top employer.

Setting up an employee benefits plan also allows small and medium-sized businesses to introduce a formal policy with respect to death, disability, accident, illness and retirement. We spoke to Érick Cloutier, Business Development Manager, HR Assistance Solutions, at National Bank Insurance Firm. Here are his top tips on setting up a plan.

Choose the right advisor

When you're thinking about introducing an employee benefits plan for your business, it's essential to get advice from an expert. To find the right advisor, ask for recommendations from other business owners. Be sure to ask for references to confirm the skills of potential advisors and the quality of the service they can provide. You should also check that they are licensed. If possible, opt for an advisor who offers products and services from several providers. This will give you access to competing offers, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Be prepared

Setting up an employee benefits plan requires proper planning, and it's important not to skip any steps. Here are the main things you need to do to set up your plan successfully.

The first meeting

The first meeting is a chance for you to tell your advisor about your objectives and priorities with respect to employee benefits.

Drawing up specifications

In order to get proposals from different providers, including insurance companies and other financial institutions, it's essential to draw up specifications. This document should explain your business type and structure and include a list of employees. The aim of the specifications is to describe the business's needs in as much detail as possible, to help the providers develop their proposals. The specifications will also make it easier to compare the different proposals you receive.

Choosing a provider

Once you've received the proposals, it's time for you and your advisor to examine them and choose one or more providers.

Informing your employees

Now that you've decided on a plan, the next step is to inform your employees. Explaining the features of the new plan is crucial to achieving a successful result. After all, your employees have to understand their plan in order to take full advantage of it.

Implementing the plan

This step requires collaboration with your advisor and chosen providers to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.

Choosing plan administrators

No matter what the size of your business, you will have to appoint one or more plan administrators. The people chosen for this role will need to be trained, although this usually does not take long. Setting up an employee benefits plan can seem complicated, but it doesn't need to be. By seeking the support of an expert advisor, it won't be long before you and your employees are reaping the rewards.

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