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  • Time to Get Ahead of the Curve? News We need to stay on top of all the work-from-home changes that are happening in benefits management “We’ve all been working from home for the last four months and now it looks like we’re probably never going to go back to working in the office.” It’s a statement I’m ...
  • What the Experts Tell us About Beating Burnout News First, resign from your job as general manager of the universe By: Bill Zolis Half the reason that people suffer from burnout is that they don’t know what’s causing it – or, more to the point, they think they know what’s causing it, but they’re ...
  • A Key Piece of the Mental Wellness in the Workplace Puzzle News We’ve talked a good deal about mental wellness in the workplace, but one of the hardest parts of trying to provide solutions has always been a sense of vagueness and uncertainty: What are the issues? Who is affected? How can you tell the difference between ...
  • What Are the Lasting Impacts of the Pandemic? News We’ve spent a year and a half waiting for the pandemic to be over, and now the daily numbers are going down and the restrictions are starting to be lifted. At the same time, we are realizing that, even if the virus disappears entirely, the ...
  • Is the Government Serious about Pharmacare and Dental Care? News Plans for new programs are raising some very hard-to-answer questions By: Bill Zolis It’s hard to know what to make of the recent announcement from the federal Liberal government and the New Democratic Party (NDP) concerning universal pharmacare and expanded dental care programs for all ...
  • Four Things We’ll All Be Talking About in 2022 News What are the big issues in work and benefits we’ll be dealing with after Covid?    A lot of the experts are starting to talk about “the end of the pandemic” and, even though the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is still running wild, we could ...
  • New Ways of Thinking about Obesity Gain Ground News When it’s seen as a chronic condition, it can be managed in the long term By: Bill Zolis Obesity, or excess weight, has for a very long time been seen as a just fact of life for some people, or as a result of lifestyle ...
  • Why it Makes Sense to Max Out on Tax-Free Benefits News The tax efficiency of benefits should be a key consideration in how you structure employee plans  By: Bill Zolis The basic math behind the concept of tax efficient benefits is a bit of a no-brainer. Let’s say that you have decided that it’s time to ...
  • Most Workers Ready to Change Jobs for Better Benefits News Competitive benefits and educating employees about them is a key to staff retention By: Bill Zolis One of the interesting trends that we see emerging from the great shake-up in the employment market that is taking place as Covid restrictions are ending is the growing ...
  • Navacord continues its strategic benefits expansion with addition of Penmore Benefits Inc. News TORONTO, ON, February 4, 2021 – As they continue to strengthen and expand their benefits business, Navacord Corp., Canada’s fourth largest commercial insurance brokerage and a leader in group insurance and risk management solutions, is pleased to announce the addition of Penmore Benefits Inc., effective ...
  • Is There a Retirement Crisis? News The number of people worried about retirement income has ticked upward in recent months By: Bill Zolis There’s an old saying that defines a financial downturn as your neighbour losing their job, and a financial crisis as you losing yours. I think that reasoning may ...
  • Employee Turnover is Suddenly a Big Problem News What does it take to retain your best people and keep them happy? By: Bill Zolis If you drive along any commercial street in Canada right now, one thing that you’ll notice is that just about every restaurant, store, garage or factory that has an ...
  • Who’s Your “Broker” Working For? Employee Benefits , News In a world of brokers, agents, advisors and consultants, it’s important to stay focused on who’s really working for you A consumer show on Canadian television a few weeks ago really surprised a lot of us when they blew the whistle on the difference between a ...
  • What is the Future of Benefits? News Plan members and sponsors reveal their (slightly different) lists of most-wanted benefits  By: Bill Zolis What benefits do plan members really want? What benefits do plan sponsors believe offer the best value in terms of delivering the outcomes they have in mind?   The 2021 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey ...
  • The Seven Core Elements of a Great Workplace Wellness Program News Building the “well workplace” means more than just adding programs and services  By Bill Zolis If you do an Internet search on “workplace wellness,” you immediately get a long list of ideas for new and supposedly innovative elements of a successful program, including everything from meatless Mondays to dream coaching and starting a tai chi ...
  • Five (More) Things You Can Do to Sleep Better News There comes a point where a good night’s sleep is worth fighting for. By: Bill Zolis When you’re happy and healthy, when you feel that you’re able to cope with the stresses and challenges of life, and when things are going well, you tend to ...
  • Entrepreneurial Family Case Study – The Jones Family Case Study With increasing financial success, the Jones Family had concerns their estate was not properly organized. Their primary concern was how to protect the next generation. Their CFO was overwhelmed managing the Family’s group of companies along with their personal finances with little time to address ...
  • Eight (Unexpected) Things We Have Learned from the Pandemic So Far News Time and again we ask ourselves, Who would ever have imagined this was possible? By: Bill Zolis Let’s imagine that it’s New Year’s Eve a little over a year and a half ago. We’re with friends and family. There are two or three or half ...
  • Bill Zolis Quoted in Todays Trucking Magazine News Penmore's Bill Zolis was quoted in the  current issue of Todays Trucking on their article: "Plan for benefits in driver recruiting, retention". "Bill Zolis, a senior employee benefits consultant with Penmore Callery Group, sees several differences that exist among his clients in the trucking industry. “Is ...
  • Why Do We Have Benefits? News Yes, I, along with my colleagues and most of the people who read this blog are in the benefits management business, and we deal with issues professionally every day. But it was two very different real-world situations within the orbit of my personal acquaintances – ...
  • Big Data Takes on Benefits Fraud General , News Data analysis is starting to make a dent in many benefits fraud schemes In the world of benefits fraud, there are big fish and little fish. A lot of the big fish do get caught – or at least shut down – but what usually comes ...
  • Benefits Associate Ltd. and Penmore Benefits Merger News
  • The Big Move News “The Great Resignation” is making benefits more important than ever By: Bill Zolis A couple of months ago, I’d never even heard the term, “the Great Resignation,” but now it seems to be popping up everywhere – especially in our world, where employment benefits have always ...
  • Pharmacare: A Solution Looking for a Problem News Pharmacare would be such a good idea – if everybody wasn’t already covered Pharmacare is one of those ideas that sounds like a no-brainer when you say it fast. People who don’t have drug coverage should not suffer just because they can’t afford to buy life-saving ...
  • What Is iCBT? News Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy is fast becoming a key element of virtual health care  By Bill Zolis I don’t think I’ve ever seen a new idea in health care, and one that has such a big impact on employee benefits, take off quite as fast as internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy, or iCBT. I think it’s a case of ...
  • The Next Big Thing in Benefits? News Major insurance providers are looking seriously at covering pharmacogenetic testing The buzz in the insurance world right now is all about trying to figure out whether genetic testing is ready for prime time when it comes to treating some of the big drivers of benefits costs ...
  • The Next Big Thing: Mental Health Policy General , News It’s time to get ahead of the curve on this one… If your workplace does not already have an up-to-date mental wellness policy, now would be a really good time to start developing and implementing one – and I’ll tell you why. Sure, we can make ...
  • Working From Home News Holding the Team Together While Working from Home 10 ways to communicate effectively in a working-from-home environment By Bill Zolis I’m working from home during the Coronavirus situation, and I’m guessing that many or most of you are, too. In the past, I did this when ...
  • Top 5 Strategies in Managing the Well (Remote) Workplace News We’re hearing a lot about mental health and mental wellness in the new workplace environment – fair enough – and I think that many of the solutions we’re looking at could just as easily be described as providing coping strategies, helping people adapt to change ...
  • Right Drug, Right Time, Right Cost Employee Benefits , News Why you should work with your doctor, your pharmacist, and your drug plan to make sure you get optimal treatment You go to the doctor, you get a prescription. That's what happens most of the time when you seek medical help or advice. In just over ...
  • About that Credit Card Travel Insurance Employee Benefits , News It may be of some value, especially if you have no pre-existing conditions, but you really need to read that fine print We've all seen the commercials on TV. And most of us probably have one or more of the premium credit cards that advertise a ...
  • Luxottica Case Study Case Study , Employee Retirement Planning Luxottica HR team is based out the U.S office handling a Canadian Pension Plan. They had issues understanding the Canadian Marketplace and pension rules. What worked in their US pension plan may not have necessarily work in Canada. Luxottica appointed Penmore Benefits Inc. as plan ...
  • Predictions News Yogi Berra Knew a Thing or Two About Benefits Management  “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”   That’s actually one of the many comments attributed to Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees catcher who became as famous for his weirdly insightful quotes as he did for his legendary ...
  • Spending Accounts News Are Health and Wellness Spending Accounts Taking Off? People who work from home will expect their benefits to keep up with the changes By Bill Zolis I think the question I’m getting most often from clients in the last few months is basically, “What effect will ...
  • KGHM International Case Study Employee Benefits , Case Study KGHM international and DMC Mining Services Inc. were in the process of bringing both benefit plans under one umbrella with common plan designs and blended rates. Both plans were insured with Standard Life which was purchased by Manulife financial. Penmore had to not only do ...
  • Why We Should Take Cyber Threats Very Seriously News New hacking methods and technology put all of us at increased risk By: Bill Zoils I think that most of us have always assumed that our own risks from hacking and cyber attacks were pretty remote because, we tell ourselves, our laptop and our company ...
  • Medical Marijuana – More Questions than Answers Employee Benefits , News A lack of medical consensus makes drug plan coverage of medical marijuana very difficult Medical marijuana may well be here to stay, but there are still far more questions than answers when it comes to actually managing it as a mainstream pharmaceutical option for Canadians. Of ...
  • Changes Coming to Personal Emergency Leave Laws Employee Benefits , News Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will significantly increase legally mandated employee leaves Sometimes, life just happens and you need to take a day off work. Not a sick day or a vacation day, but a Grandma-fell-down-and-is-in-the-hospital day, or a the-babysitter-called-in-sick-at-the-last-moment day It’s called personal emergency ...
  • Best Tips For Sleeping Well Employee Benefits , News If you’re just not sleeping well, there are some pretty effective things you can do to make it better It’s been said that the biggest single cause of insomnia is lying awake worrying about not getting to sleep. Actually, from all that I’ve read on the ...
  • Drugs, Alcohol and, Oh Yes, Marijuana Employee Benefits , Case Study , News Changing times may require all of us to take a long hard look at our drug-and-alcohol policies Employers often feel that they’re between a rock and a hard place when it comes to drugs and alcohol in the workplace. On the one hand, they have a ...
  • The Secret to Really Good Workplace Wellness Employee Benefits , News Workplace wellness is a way to solve a lot of problems before they even come up Coping with issues such as absenteeism, sick leave and workers’ comp can quickly start to resemble a hopeless game of whack-a-mole: as soon as you try to deal with one ...
  • Penmore & Navacord Announcement General , News   Official Penmore Benefits Inc./Navacord Announcement Attached Here.
  • When the “Human Side” Gets Right in Your Face News A seriously injured client gives us a whole new perspective on resilience. I recently met a pretty remarkable man and I’m grateful that I’ve had the chance to get to know him a little. Met him when I went to the hospital to hand deliver his ...
  • Eight Things We Should Be Doing in Every Virtual Meeting News We have to change the rules to manage mental wellness in the virtual workplace  By Bill Zolis Let’s face it. We know that “mental health” comes up in first place in survey after survey of workplace issues that employees are dealing with, especially now that Covid ...
  • Bio What-Now? Employee Benefits , News Get ready for “generic” biologics Most of us are pretty familiar with the difference between brand name drugs and their generic equivalents. Basically, the generics are "bio-equivalent" to the brand names and are, for all practical purposes, the same. Only cheaper. Now there's a new term ...
  • Is Losing Weight Actually the Wrong Goal? News
  • Turner and Porter: Case Study Employee Benefits , Case Study Turner and Porter had previously bought a Benefits Plan that had a low upfront cost, however then prices rose dramatically in subsequent years. In addition to lack of cost containment, the account handling was impersonal and both the business owners and employees were finding the ...
  • The Good News and the Bad News on Diabetes General We keep hearing about a "diabetes epidemic," but there are things we can do now to improve our odds of beating the statistics We've all seen the eye-popping statistics about the incidence of diabetes and, even more alarmingly, the rate at which it is said to ...
  • Survey Says: Wellness Programs Improve Overall Satisfaction Employee Benefits , News It seems that employees’ satisfaction with wellness programs spills over into satisfaction with their benefits programs and their jobs in general We’ve talked about workplace wellness programs in the past, and we’ve touched on reports that employees appreciate them, but now we can add evidence of ...
  • What else is in Bill 148 – And Why You Need to Know News There’s a lot more to Bill 148 than minimum wage hikes and personal emergency leave So Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) is hiring 175 new "employment standards officers." It has set a target of inspecting one in 10 workplaces every year. And it has essentially stated ...
  • How to Give First Aid for Mental Health News There’s a new perspective on mental health at work, and it’s a real eye-opener We talk a good deal about mental health in the workplace and how we should be reaching out and helping employees going through a rough time. Sure, but how do you start ...
  • Kick Starting Change in the Workplace News Physical distancing has forced us to move forward faster than we ever imagined By Bill Zolis I think we’re seeing what would have been the next 5 or 10 years in the evolution of work land on us all at once. We’re making it work by ...
  • Emergency Leave Set To Expire In July News Even though we are currently in the third wave of the Covid pandemic, with daily numbers of reported infections higher than at any time since the start of the crisis, we do have to start looking seriously at the post-pandemic world of employment law, best ...
  • Your Dentist’s Pet Peeve Employee Benefits , News Why you should know all the ins and outs of your dental insurance plan before you ever lean back in the chair and open wide Do you want to know what your dentist's pet peeve probably is? (Okay – aside from complete strangers at a party ...
  • A Look Inside Employee Benefits , News There's more to this business that we usually talk about… It was getting pretty late in the day and most of the people in the office had already gone home when I heard the telephone for our main line ringing out at the reception desk. I ...
  • Unintended Lessons I’ve learned about Blogging so far Employee Benefits , News You never know what’s going to happen when you click on a link So I was researching blogs on the weekend. I typed “Top blogs in Canada” into my browser and clicked on the first link that came up. Instantly, a big red box and a ...
  • Managing Paramedical Benefits News Think about why you offer paramedical benefits in order to manage them effectively By Bill Zolis “If you build it, they will come.” Okay, it’s a line from a movie, but it applies to paramedical benefits, too, and that’s what I want to talk about. If ...
  • CDI Professional Corp. Case Study Employee Benefits , Case Study The CDI HR team was faced with two completely different plan designs due to an acquisition. This made it difficult to keep track of who is part of what plan and this caused many problems for their payroll department. CDI has asked Penmore to create ...
  • Don’t Push Any Buttons! News If you’re like me, you probably still have a mental image of a “hacker” as a person sitting in front of a computer trying different tricks to break into your computer. And you may also think, well, I’m just an ordinary person, and I don’t ...
  • Big Smiles Employee Benefits , News A focus on dental plans will ensure that everyone remains happy When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you. So the song tells us. This is especially true when people can show off healthy teeth and gums. "Good oral health contributes positively to your physical ...
  • Not A Delicate Subject Anymore… Employee Benefits , News How to start the conversation about mental health in the workplace Let's face it, mental health has long been a taboo topic. We didn't talk about it. We didn't know what, if anything, we could do to help. We weren't sure if it was a topic ...
  • Pharmacogenomics Means Better Prescriptions Employee Benefits , News A simple DNA test can now help pinpoint which drugs are going to work best for you One day we read an article or watch a documentary about some fantastic new technology that sounds like science fiction, and the next day we can get it down ...
  • Will Cannabis Legalization Change Attitudes about Testing? News New legal limits for impairment may have a bigger impact than legalization. Now that legal cannabis has an official start date – October 17 – I guess there are two big questions all of us are asking: Will we see a big increase in cannabis use? ...
  • Why Airplanes Crash Employee Benefits , News What one successful CEO learned from air crash investigations – and how it all applies to managing any organization What does managing a business have to do with airplane crashes? For Jeff Quipp, the answer is not so much about the crashes as it is about ...
  • The Chronic Pain Puzzle News Financial costs alone are higher than cancer, heart disease and HIV combined Type the words “chronic pain” into your web browser, and you instantly get over 70 million hits. Try “cost of chronic pain in Canada” and you get over 900,000. Wow. You have to ask ...
  • Predictive Analysis and Three Other Trends to Watch News Benefits and wellness programs are never going to be the same again So the only way to plan the benefits coverage your employees will need next year, and figure out what the cost will be, is to average out the last two or three years and ...
  • Mitigating risk for employees on the road News Sophisticated insurance plans offer robust coverage and focus on compliance. For many industries, global travel for work is no longer a rarity. And employees who travel for work without proper insurance coverage leave themselves and their employers vulnerable to paying high out-of pocket costs if they fall ill or are involved in an accident ...
  • What Happened When I Lost My Phone News I thought cell phone dependency was a cliché – until I lost mine far from home “What number can I reach you at if anything turns up?” the lady at the front desk of the hotel asked me, smiling brightly. Well, uh… that’s kind of ...
  • It’s All About the Experience News How to make sure every client encounter ends with a “Wow! That was great!” By Bill Zolis You and your friends go to a nice restaurant, you have a glass of wine, your favourite dish from the menu and maybe a special dessert. You’re there for ...
  • What You Don’t Want to Say to Your Doctor Employee Benefits , News There are some things that you want to explain to your doctor, and some things you really should stay away from. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine raised quite a few eyebrows. It found that patients had an average of 18 seconds to tell their ...
  • Avoiding the Dreaded “Claim Rejected” News Benefits administrators are always caught in the middle when claims are rejected As a benefits administrator, you probably have a filing cabinet with hard copies of all the documents relating to every aspect of your employees’ benefits. Take a careful look at that cabinet. There may ...
  • Three Things I Learned from Doc Martin News When it comes to losing weight, there are a few basics you just can’t get around. Funny thing is, the weight loss advice that sounds the most reasonable to me came from one of my favourite TV doctors – Doc Martin, the rather peculiar main character ...
  • Engagement is the New Normal News What do employees really want from their jobs? What does it take to get employees truly engaged, loving their jobs, earning fulfillment from their work and reaching their full potential? How about a workplace wellness program? Flexible hours and work-from-home? Sure. Those are all good ideas ...
  • Is Virtual Health Care the New Must-Have Benefit? News In the age of the smart phone, do we really still need to line up and wait to talk to a doctor? You can do all your banking from your smart phone, use the self-checkout at the supermarket, renew your car license online and live-stream the ...
  • Hitting Reset On The Mindset News We can’t afford to think “when this is over.” We have a job to do and a chance to step up and really shine.  By Bill Zolis Five weeks in, working from home. I didn’t think it was a new thing for me, but I’m surprised and a little pleased to ...
  • The Second Wave of Working from Home News It’s time to look at wellness in the work-from-home workplace as a permanent change  By Bill Zolis Who knew, back in March or April, that we would find ourselves deep into a second wave of coronavirus lockdowns by Christmas? There’s not much we can do about the virus ...
  • Financial Wellness: Why Money Management Counseling is Such a Good Idea News Debt counseling and money management education can make a big difference for employees Ask anyone who’s just had that first serious thought about planning ahead for retirement what they wish they had done differently, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: they wish they had ...
  • 10 Things You Need to Know about Travel Insurance News How to avoid making the mistakes that could cost you your insurance coverage. What could be worse than running into trouble on a trip and not having travel insurance? Well, how about running into trouble on a trip and discovering that the travel insurance you thought ...
  • Top 10 Take-Aways from a Crazy Busy Year News What we can learn from the biggest and most controversial issues we’ve looked at this year. Here are the top 10 things you should know about in benefits management– and that could jump up and bite you if you don’t see them coming.

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