Insights and Advice

Replacing Employer-Provided Benefits Plans

wooden dock on a calm lake at sunrise


When you retire or leave an employer for any other reason, or reach the maximum age limit of your employer-sponsored benefits plan, you face important decisions regarding the replacement of your benefits. You may have the option to convert your health and dental benefits to a personal plan, however, if your group plan has an age limit, once you reach that age, conversion is not an option.

In the past, conversion options were limited, but now, with more options available, the decisions become more complex. If you are able
to convert to a personal plan without having to reapply and provide health and medical information — a significant advantage if you or a dependent has a health condition — you typically must do so within 30 days from the date your group benefits cease. These personal plans generally have low coverage levels, but in most cases, you can increase the coverage, add other features, or choose another insurance provider.If you change the personal plan that is offered for conversion, you may or may not have to provide health and medical information. The premium costs will depend on the coverage and features you choose.

Coordination with Provincial Coverage

Conversion plans are coordinated with the health and drug plans of the province where you reside, and premiums are priced accordingly.

Health and Dental Care Benefits

The health and dental care benefits you choose will be determined by an analysis of your needs or anticipated needs, and the cost-benefits of the type of insurance that would be required to provide the coverage you desire. For example, if you need chiropractic, physiotherapy, or dental care, those costs are, to some extent, predictable. The cost to insure could be similar to the cost of the benefits received.

Life Insurance Conversions

grandkidsWhen your employee benefits cease, if life insurance is a component, you may be able to convert that to an individual policy, as well. The options will be determined by your group plan, and they might not be appropriate for you. When you retire, your life insurance needs change. For example, you might want life insurance as part of your estate planning strategy to cover capital gains taxes or for charitable giving. Insurance companies offer various types of coverage, some which might be more suitable for you than others, and some offer lower premiums, if you can provide proof of good health.

Contact Your Nakamun Advisor

If you are about to become ineligible for your employer-provided benefits plan, please contact your Nakamun Advisor to discuss options for replacing your group insurance coverage with individual coverage that meets your needs now and in the future.

Budget 2017 – Business as Usual… and More Red Ink


The cautious approach in the 2017 Federal Budget is warranted, in light of the uncertainties emanating from the United States. The Budget projects a deficit of $23 billion for 2016 – 2017, falling to $19 billion by 2021 – 2022. The total of these future deficits and the resulting impact on the national debt exceed those projected in last year’s Budget.

On the tax front, a few items, including a speculated increase to the capital gains inclusion rate, were conspicuously absent. As well, corporate and personal income tax rates remained unchanged.

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Garry Keiller – Rocking the Stage After Almost a Half Century Riding a Desk

Garry Keiller - sitting in his office smiling

Garry Keiller, formerly Nakamun Financial Group, Edmonton

For decades, Garry Keiller has helped Edmontonians plan and save for a better retirement. “This year marks my 48th in this industry and 30th with the Nakamun Financial Group. The years have flown by and I’ve met amazing people and made wonderful friends.”

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2016 in Review


Two standout events — Brexit and the US election — will mark 2016 in history. In both cases, equity markets reacted or overreacted sharply to the downside and then returned to pre-election levels. Both decisions will have long-term economic implications domestically and globally. The extent of the change resulting from each vote remains to be seen. Both decisions have also triggered greater uncertainty. Read More…

Canada Pension Plan Complexities Part II

In the fall edition of our newsletter, we covered Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, retirement pensions, and disability benefits; and this time, we are dealing with pension sharing and benefits when a CPP contributor dies. Read More…

Cover Your Bases … With a Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement


Every adult should have an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement.

While each jurisdiction has its own terminology and rules for these documents, essentially an Enduring Power of Attorney enables you to give one or more people of your choosing the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf, should you become mentally or physically incapable of making those decision on your own, while a Representation Agreement covers health and medical decisions. Read More…

Before The End of The Year…

While the end of the year might still be months away, you should be thinking about strategies that could generate tax advantages or might simply be prudent.\

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Health Care Availability and Accessibility For Travellers

As global travel expands to the far reaches of the world, be aware that medical care outside of Canada is increasingly uncertain.

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Canada Pension Plan Complexities

Most Canadians over the age of 18 are impacted in some way by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), either as a contributor or benefit recipient.

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Elder Financial Abuse

We hear and read stories about elderly people being physically abused, but seldom do we hear or read about financial abuse that occurs just as frequently.

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