Industry Advocacy

The evolution of the benefits industry in Canada is happening at a faster pace than ever before. Our advocacy mission is to be the leader in directing those changes to benefit Canadian employers, employees, and our advisors.

Our Advocacy Committee leads the charge of the Benefits Alliance Voice. Learn more about the Advocacy Committee’s process and how you can participate.

What We’re Working On

Virtual Care Letter

May, 2024

Canadian businesses and organizations have chosen to sponsor benefits plans that offer competitive health/dental programs for their employees to help support overall health and wellness in their workforce and their families.  We believe that virtual care is an integral part of this offering.  According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CHLIA) approximately 10 million Canadians currently have access to employer funded virtual care.   We can conclude that this is highly prevalent in our clients across the country.

Benefits Alliance response to PBO

October, 2023

Benefits Alliance supports a hybrid pharmacare model of coverage delivery where the private and public sector each play a role.
  1. Continue to allow private drug plans to be primary payer for medications not funded by Medicare.
  2. Publicly funded drug coverage safety net for all Canadians via a standard minimum formulary of essential medicines.
  3. Consistent catastrophic drug program across the country, based on a core drug formulary and standard out-of-pocket costs.
  4. Modernized approach to the Canada Health Act so that government-funded programs reimburse high-cost drugs for all Canadians regardless of the type of patient coverage.
  5. Ensure ‘one price’ for drugs regardless of jurisdiction or payer type.

National Pharmacare Open Letter

August, 2023

The member advisory firms we work with have helped employer benefit plan sponsors to set up, fund and manage a comprehensive benefits plan for their employees, at considerable cost. Nearly 4 out of 5 adult Canadians have access to pharmaceutical coverage through public or private plans, a large portion of which is insured coverage through employee benefits plans. Our member advisory firms, and the employer benefit plan sponsors they work with, are key stakeholders in this important discussion to help provide for sustainable, universal access to affordable drug coverage for all Canadians.

Comprehensive/Fact Based Standards for Financial Advisors

January, 2023

The FCAA has the opportunity to address an unintended but inherent weakness which stems from a failure to properly establish the BCP for FAs. If left unaddressed this weakness will artificially establish a gulf between the professional standards between FAs and FPs, and place consumers at increased risk.

Comprehensive/Fact Based Standards for Financial Advisors – Summary

January, 2023

Benefits Alliance fully supports the FCAA and the government of Saskatchewan in their title protection Act. The solution that brings the Act to the top of the class with a standard that others will harmonize to can be achieved through a modification of the BCP for FAs based on a comprehensive model.

An Investment Toward Enhanced Consumer Outcomes

December, 2022

Prior to the Financial Professionals Title Protection Act (the Act) anyone could call themselves a Financial Advisor or Financial Planner. The absence of any legal or regulatory control over title use exposed consumers to risk as there were no educational or licensing requirements establishing standards for those holding out, nor safeguards for the use of these titles. The Act ensures that only those who have achieved the appropriate level of education and training, and who are members in good standing of an approved credentialing body will now be able to use the titles, Financial Advisor and Financial Planner. This is a positive outcome for consumers and the industry.

An Investment Toward Enhanced Consumer Outcomes – Professional Supplemental Title “Group Advisor”

December, 2022

The CEBS designation is a credential that is recognized for the depth and relevance of critical knowledge achieved. It draws from the GBA and RPA curriculum to build a total benefits perspective and is achieved by successfully completing all five required courses and passing a final national examination. Successful completion of the CEBS courses and passing the national examinations on each course in the program would qualify an FA or FP to use the CEBS designation and allow for the use of the Supplemental Title – FA, Group Advisor.

Pharmacare Update

December, 2022

Employers are altering the way they cover their employees as high-cost drugs are being allocated to private drug plans. Costs vary between private plan sponsors and patients based on province, resulting in an overall increase in drug expenditures. This lack of harmonization means that some life-saving or life-altering therapies may be available and covered in one Canadian jurisdiction, but unavailable in another. This inequitable treatment of Canadians is contrary to the concept of universal access to treatment.

Submission to CAPSA Guidelines #3

August, 2022

We are highly selective in who qualifies to join BA, and prospective firms are peer nominated. Given the important role that Group Advisors play in the lives of all Canadians from coast to coast only the best Group Advisors who are committed to the highest levels of professionalism are invited into our membership.

We welcome the opportunity to provide comments on the CAPSA Guidelines No. 3 – Guidelines for Capital Accumulation Plans.

FSRA Submission

June, 2021

BA supports higher standards and levels of professionalism for anyone who wishes to use the title Financial Advisor. Individuals and companies are increasingly reliant on the varied services provided by professionals to meet both their immediate needs and changes to their needs that occur in one’s natural life cycle. Through addressing and adapting to the diversity of client needs, we have also seen the organic maturing of
the financial service industry. Market demands have resulted in some Advisors pursuing areas of specialization while other have remained generalists.

Advocacy Updates