Employee BenefitsCompaniesCanada Life Employee Benefits - Company Review 2024

Canada Life Employee Benefits – Company Review 2024

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In today’s competitive job market, a robust employee benefits program is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Healthcare costs continue to rise faster than inflation, making experienced benefits partners more important than ever.

Canada Life is a leading employee benefits provider nationwide, serving over 31,000 Canadian businesses and millions of plan members.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll examine Canada Life employee benefits, as well as its history, financial strength, tools, costs, and overall value as a strategic benefits advisor and partner.

Overview of Canada Life

Who is Canada Life ?

Canada Life is a leading employee benefits provider in Canada, with over 31,000 clients and millions of members.
Unlocking Benefits: A Review of Canada Life’s Employee Offerings

Canada Life is part of the Power Corporation group of companies, one of Canada’s most extensive insurance and financial services organizations with over $2 trillion in assets under administration globally.

The company was founded in 1847 as The Canada Life Assurance Company, Canada’s first domestic life insurer. For over 175 years, it has evolved to offer a diverse range of insurance, wealth management, and financial products and services.

Beyond group benefits, Canada Life’s offerings include:

  • Individual life, health, dental, disability and critical illness insurance
  • Annuities and retirement income products
  • Mutual funds and investment solutions
  • Group retirement and savings programs

With $400 billion in consolidated assets and an A+ rating from AM Best, Canada Life has the financial strength and stability employers demand in a benefits provider. Other fast facts include:

  • 12+ million customers nationwide
  • 39,000 advisors in their partner networks
  • Over 500,000 businesses use their group benefits plans
  • Over 3,500 employees across Canada

Canada Life has achieved a Top 100 Employers designation for seven straight years and is active in communities coast to coast.

Source : https://www.canadalife.com/content/dam/canadalife/documents/insurance/par-whole-life-insurance/en/Canada-Life-Financial-facts.pdf

Canada Life Employee Benefits Offerings

Canada Life provides comprehensive employee benefits programs that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of organizations across all industries and sizes.

Canada Life Health Plans

As healthcare costs escalate faster than inflation, employer-sponsored health plans play an increasingly vital role by helping cover services not provided by provincial plans.

Canada Life’s health solutions allow extensive customization in areas like:

  • Level and types of coverage
  • Deductibles, co-pays, and reimbursement rates
  • Maximums for specific services and categories
  • Mandatory generic prescription policies
  • Paramedical service caps and utilization management
  • Chronic disease management programs
  • Options like medical second opinion services

Typical plan inclusions are:

Canada Life Prescription Drugs

  • Formulary design advice to balance costs and member needs
  • Choice of deductibles, co-pays, and annual maximums
  • Generic substitution to incentivize cost-effective treatment
  • Prior authorization programs to ensure appropriate usage

Read more : Prescription Drug Coverage in Canada


  • Private or semi-private room accommodation
  • Convalescent care with doctor referral
  • Home nursing, when prescribed

Healthcare Professionals

  • Chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists
  • Psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists
  • Podiatrists, naturopaths, acupuncturists
  • Maximums per practitioner type

Medical Services, Supplies, and Equipment

  • Diagnostic tests like X-rays, ultrasounds, and bloodwork
  • Casts, crutches, wheelchairs, and prosthetics
  • Blood glucose monitors for diabetics
  • Speech aids and hospital beds
  • Unlimited osteogenesis stimulators

Paramedical Services

  • Massage therapy, physiotherapy, athletic therapy
  • Chiropractic and podiatrist treatment
  • Speech therapy, psychology services

Vision Care

  • Eye exams and contact/glasses coverage
  • Laser eye surgery benefit

Out-of-Country Emergency Treatment

  • Emergency inpatient and outpatient medical treatment
  • Referrals for care not available locally
  • Travel assistance for things like hotels, hospitals, lost luggage, and evacuation coordination

Another critical advantage is Canada Life’s Health Connected program which provides:

  • Digital health learning resources
  • Lifestyle assessments and health scorecards
  • Health coaching and personal action plans
  • Disease prevention and chronic condition management
  • The ability to link to wearables, apps, and programs

This combination of flexible plan design, broad inclusions, and health engagement tools positions Canada Life to meet diverse workforce needs and help control premium costs by focusing benefits dollars on high-value services.

Canada Life Dental Plans

Navigating Perks: Canada Life's Employee Benefits Under Review IDC
Navigating Perks: Canada Life’s Employee Benefits Under Review

Oral health is a critical component of overall wellness, so dental plans remain core benefits that employees highly value.

Canada Life sets itself apart with in-depth claims analytics to understand the client population’s oral health status and risks. This enables the creation of dental plans tailored to diagnosed conditions and leading indicators through benefits like:

  • Exams, x-rays, cleanings, and fluoride
  • Fillings, extractions, root canals, and oral surgery
  • Treatment for gum disease, infections, and pain
  • Crowns, bridges, dentures, and repairs
  • Coverage for dental accidents and trauma
  • Access to discount dental networks

Utilizing best practices in plan design can optimize coverage and control costs. Recommendations include:

  • Yearly deductibles to prevent overutilization
  • Co-insurance levels vs. first-dollar coverage
  • Annual maximums aligned to usage
  • Services frequency grid based on risk factors
  • Limiting fee guide schedules reimbursed
  • Options like dental implants and adult orthodontics

Canada Life Disability Insurance

Disability insurance helps protect employee income and productivity should injury or sickness prevent work temporarily or permanently. Canada Life’s disability solutions include:

Short Term Disability (STD) Plans

  • Benefit periods from 15 to 30 weeks
  • Choice of waiting periods/elimination periods from 0 to 180 days
  • Taxable income replacement from 55% to 75% of weekly salary
  • Maximum insurable amounts aligned to Employment Insurance
  • Optional statutory deductions coverage
  • Return to work bonus and partial disability benefits

Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance

  • Monthly income benefits extend from 2 years to full retirement age
  • Tax-free benefits replace 50% to 85% of monthly earnings
  • Plan maximums up to $20,000 per month
  • Rehabilitation and return-to-work programs
  • Guaranteed standard issue for groups under 75
  • Cost of living adjustments to protect buying power

Having both STD and LTD plans work cohesively provides end-to-end disability protection. Canada Life’s expertise in optimizing these programs helps organizations better manage absences, claim incidents, productivity, and costs related to employee injuries and illnesses.

Life and Critical Illness Insurance

Financial protection for families against the unfortunate events of premature death or critical illness remains essential. Canada Life provides:

Employee Basic Life Insurance

  • Employer-paid core coverage (e.g. 1-2x annual salary)
  • Guaranteed issue amounts up to $650,000

Employee Optional Life Insurance

  • Elective employee-paid additional coverage
  • Increments based on need and budget (e.g. 1-5x salary)
  • Simplified underwriting up to $600,000

Spousal Life Insurance

  • Optional employer or employee-paid coverage
  • Amounts aligned to employee’s optional election

Child and Dependent Life

  • Optional family coverage amounts

Critical Illness Insurance

  • Protects against financial impacts of serious illnesses
  • Covers over 70 conditions like cancer, stroke, bypass surgery
  • Lump sum living benefits from $25,000 to $500,000

Canada Life’s specialized expertise in individual risk assessment enables the right-sizing of life and critical illness plans for the workforce profile. Their underwriters provide insights on optimizing coverage and pricing.

Retirement Savings Plans

Insider Insights: Reviewing Canada Life's Employee Benefits IDC
Insider Insights: Reviewing Canada Life’s Employee Benefits

Canada Life provides turnkey setup and administration of essential retirement savings programs like:

Group Registered Retirement Savings Plans (Group RRSPs)

  • Easy payroll deduction contributions
  • Matching employer contributions to drive participation
  • Pre-authorized Contribution (PAC) account transfers
  • Vast investment fund choices and risk profiles

Defined Contribution Pension Plans

  • Predictable, fixed contributions by employer and employee
  • Professionally managed pension account
  • Guaranteed lifetime retirement income

Non-Registered Savings Plans (RRSPs)

  • Additional tax-paid savings once registered plans are maxed out
  • Balances can be consolidated at retirement into an RRIF

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs)

  • After-tax contributions grow tax-free
  • Withdrawals are not taxed when taken
  • Complement registered retirement savings

Qualified Retirement Plans (DPSPs, GRSPs)

  • Account types that satisfy pension legislation
  • Specific rules apply around withdrawals

Canada Life’s investment management arms, such as London Life, Putnam, Irish Life, and Quadrus, oversee $434 billion in AUM to help maximize returns within planned risk tolerances.

Plan Administration and Technology

Canada Life stands out for industry-leading online and mobile administration systems for employers and plan members.

Their proprietary GroupNet platform powers:

For employers

  • Benefits plan setup, management, and changes
  • Enrollment, termination, and reporting
  • Ongoing administration and payroll integration
  • Usage analytics, cost data, and insights
  • Employee communication and education

For employees

  • Benefits information anytime
  • Claims submission and tracking
  • Search for healthcare providers
  • Coverage details and balances
  • Paperless direct deposit of claim payments

This technology simplifies benefits communication, drives employee engagement, and creates significant HR administration efficiencies.

Pros and Cons of Canada Life Employee Benefits

While a leading benefits provider, some pros and cons for employers to consider with Canada Life include:


  • Highly customizable health, dental, disability, life, and retirement savings plans
  • Bundled pricing incentives across multiple benefit products
  • Industry-leading online administration systems and mobile apps
  • Dedicated account management model with deep HR support
  • Very competitive pricing relative to other major carriers
  • Comprehensive coverage with minimal restrictions
  • In-house benefits expertise in underwriting, pricing, and claims


  • Complex administration for large, diverse, or union groups
  • Limitations serving some union and pooled groups
  • Provincial variability in benefits offerings
  • Access to customer service for members could improve
  • Lacks mortgage, P&C, and travel insurance products
  • Perceived by some as costlier than smaller or regional firms

Canada Life Employee Benefits Reviews

Benefits Breakdown: Evaluating Canada Life's Employee Offerings IDC
Benefits Breakdown: Evaluating Canada Life’s Employee Offerings

In addition to the advantages outlined above, Canada Life earns stellar reviews, endorsements, and client satisfaction scores as an employee benefits provider.

  • 80%+ satisfaction rating from employers on benefits administration
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars average across 200+ online reviews
  • A+ financial strength rating from AM Best
  • Top 100 Employers Canada designation seven straight years
  • #1 ranking in J.D. Power customer satisfaction seven years running
  • 2021 Best Health Benefits Provider Award from Benefits Canada

This overwhelmingly positive feedback confirms Canada Life’s reputation for excellent value, service, outcomes and strategic partnership on group benefits programs.

Why Choose Canada Life for Employee Benefits?

This comprehensive review demonstrates that Canada Life is a clear leader and trusted expert in delivering employee benefits programs that fully support talent acquisition, retention, productivity, and business growth strategies.

Canada Life is hard to surpass for any organization seeking an experienced, financially secure, data-driven benefits partner. Their unique advantages include:

175+ Years of Canadian Risk and Benefits Expertise

With over 17 decades of experience insuring the health and well-being of Canadians, Canada Life has an unmatched perspective and insights into employee benefits programs. Its actuarial, underwriting, claims management, and account support teams offer deep expertise.

The breadth of Highly Customizable Plan Options

Canada Life provides extensive choices across all benefits categories to tailor programs specific to workforce demographics, industry risks, budgets, and priorities. Health, dental, disability, life, critical illness, and retirement savings plans can all be dialled to an organization’s specific needs.

Flexible Plan Designs and Financing Options

Canada Life partners with clients of all sizes and sectors, offering fully insured and self-funded arrangements. Their flexibility in program design, pricing models, and cost controls ensures a good fit.

Top Tier Claims Management and Utilization Review

With advanced technologies, analytics, and specialized teams, Canada Life maximizes claims dollars. Their clinical support provides utilization reviews and chronic disease management.

Competitive Bundled Plan Pricing

Canada Life is recognized for pricing very cost-competitive benefits, especially when bundling multiple health, dental, disability, life, and retirement plan components.

Leading Edge Administration Systems

Canada Life’s online and mobile platforms simplify benefits administration for HR teams while providing self-serve access for employees to learn about, manage, and optimize their benefits.

Ongoing Employee Communication and Education

Engaging employees with their benefits programs is crucial for driving understanding and utilization. Canada Life provides videos, guides, portals, workshops, and individual support.

Experienced Account Management and HR Teams

Even with advanced technologies, benefits programs require expert local account management and strategic advisory services that Canada Life is known for, thanks to the tenure of their teams.

In summary, Canada Life has earned its reputation for excellence by continuously innovating benefits programs focused on employee health, productivity, engagement and peace of mind. In today’s competitive talent landscape, they are an employer benefits partner with few rivals.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Employee Well-being Matters: Canada Life's Benefits Reviewed IDC
Employee Well-being Matters: Canada Life’s Benefits Reviewed

Finding the right employee benefits provider is an important decision for any business in Canada. With a range of options to choose from, it’s helpful to understand the landscape of top providers across the country. Some of the leading employee benefits providers in Canada include:

In closing, Canada Life stood out as an industry leader and trusted expert across all facets of employee benefits programs and should be considered by any Canadian company seeking a strategic benefits advisor.

Their unique combination of financial strength, risk management expertise, robust plan options, cutting-edge administration technology, and focus on education and communication makes Canada Life hard to surpass as a total benefits solutions provider.

We strongly recommend Canada Life for companies looking to enhance recruitment, productivity, retention, and employee well-being through competitive, cost-effective benefits programs supported by top-tier account management and strategic HR partnerships nationwide.

Visit Ebsource for latest employee benefits news in Canada.

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our mission is to equip Canadians with comprehensive and factual information to facilitate prudent choices about employee benefits and human resources guidance. We leverage the expertise of seasoned financial professionals to ensure our advice aligns with industry best practices. The statistics we cite come from trusted government and industry bodies like Statistics Canada and the CLHIA to guarantee accuracy.

Our recommendations stem from thorough, unbiased research of the major employee benefits providers in Canada. This allows us to tailor our suggestions to individuals’ specific budgets and needs. Ebsource upholds stringent standards of objectivity, transparency, and independence across all our content. We pride ourselves on furnishing counsel readers can trust by referencing credible sources and adhering to editorial principles. As Canada’s most dependable outlet for employee benefits news and HR insights, we are dedicated to empowering Canadians to make informed benefits decisions.

Canada Life Insurance Review: Updated for 2024 – policyme.com
Canada Life Benefit Booklets – gov.nu.ca
My Canada Life at Work – canadalife.com

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