Navigating your employer benefits can seem overwhelming for anyone, but when you spend the time understanding them, they can offer a whole lot of benefit!

In Canada, $180 billion1 in health and retirement benefits are paid out to employees every year. Taking advantage of your employer benefits could be one of the smartest things you can do. They can provide a lot of value to you if you take the time to review what’s available at your organization.

When you add them all up, even the smallest perks can go a long way in saving you money.

Here are three little ways to help you get the most out of your benefits:

  1. Maximize your employer match program: If your employer has a matching program, take advantage! Every time you set aside money from your pay for retirement, your employer could give you a top up, translating into instant compound interest for you. If you can, try to maximize this payment. If you can’t, a little investing is better than nothing at all.

    The more money you set aside means the more matching from your employer — and a better retirement nest egg for you.

  2. Look into your Employee Assistance Plan: Just taking a little time to familiarize yourself with your Employee Assistance Plan can lead to big payoffs. Whether you need counselling or someone to talk to for mental health concerns like anxiety or depression, lots of employee plans have ways to help. Money and health concerns can be stressful, so having someone to talk to is a little step toward taking care of yourself and your family, while maximizing your benefits.

  3. Pack your plan before travelling: If your plan includes emergency travel assistance, take a few minutes to review your coverage before your next trip. While you’re at it, jot down the important details and toll-free phone numbers or add them to your mobile phone. They won’t take up any room in your carry-on but having them handy will make a big difference in the event of injury or illness while travelling.

Look at your employer benefits and see the bigger picture. There’s greater value beyond the numbers.

A little can do a lot.

The information in this article is not to be relied upon as investment advice for specific situations.


1Payroll Has the Power:  (2018)