Montridge Financial Group Ltd.


Montridge Edge Update

Keeping You Informed
In This Issue
2014 EI Maximum
Dental Fee Guide Released
RRSP Contribution Deadline
Benefits by Design Updates
Great-West Life Updates
Manulife Updates
Sun Life Updates
Montridge on Facebook


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Vancouver: 604.682.1603

Toll-Free: 1.866.682.1603

Facsimilie: 604.682.1621

Suite 1200

1111 West Hastings St.

Vancouver, BC
V6E 2J3
January 2014
Federal Government Changes EI Maximum
Short Term Disability Plans Affected

Effective January 1, 2014, the employment insurance (EI) maximum, and corresponding EI weekly maximum benefit, has been increased.  The maximum insurable earnings is now $48,600 per year.  Accordingly, the new maximum EI benefit amount will be $514 per week.

Short Term Disability plans that have a maximum set at the EI maximum, rather than a specific amount, will automatically increase as of January 1.

If your plan has a specific dollar maximum that is less than $514 per week, and you participate in the EI premium reduction program, you will need to amend your plan to at least $514 per week to remain eligible for the program. 

If you have any questions on how the new EI maximum will affect your benefit plan, contact your Montridge advisor today.    

2014 Dental Fee Guide Released February 1st         

The BC Dental Association will release their Annual Suggested Fee Guide for Dental Treatment Services on February 1, 2014. 
Employees are reminded that while insurance companies are bound by this fee guide and will reimburse claims according to it, dentists are allowed to set their own prices. 

It is always a good idea to check with your dentist if they adhere to the fee guide.  Additionally, if you need a dental treatment costing over a few hundred dollars, it is highly recommended to obtain a pre-determination from your insurance company to know ahead of time what will or will not be covered.

For further information on pre-determinations, contact your Montridge service representative. 


RRSP Contribution Deadline is March 2, 2014       

March 1, 2014, is the last day you can contribute to an RRSP for the 2013 tax year.  The amount you can contribute to your RRSPs each year without tax implications is determined by your RRSP deduction limit, or contribution room, which can be found on your 2012 notice of assessment. The most recent information about your RRSP deduction limit is also available online through My Account at

Montridge offers top-notch expert pension knowledge.  If you are interested in setting up an RSP program for your employees, contact Preet Pall at or 604-682-1603 ext 234.

Benefits by Design - Quarterly Updates      
BBD Introduces FeelingBetterNow

BBD clients with an existing LTD policy in place will now be able to take advantage of FeelingBetterNow, a program that has been developed by mental health experts to help your employees and their family doctor attain the right diagnosis and treatment for specific mental health conditions.

The program comprises of an anonymous online survey/assessment that can be completed in under 20 minutes.  A printable Risk Assessment will be produced which can then be submitted to the doctor/physician to assist with treatment. 

The SSQ LTD benefit also has a built-in EAP program: counseling hours for employees to help with mental health issues, grief, or just the stress of day-to-day life.

If you have any questions about these programs, don't hesitate to contact us. 


Expatriate Coverage Now Available


To add to its product line, BBD is excited to offer expatriate coverage for Canadian employees working abroad.  The program is also available for foreign employees working in Canada.  Contact us for more information.  

Great-West Life - Quarterly Updates   
New Phone Numbers for Medical Assistance While Travelling

Effective January 1, 2014, plan members who need medical assistance while travelling should take note of new phone numbers to call.  All phone numbers that are currently in place will also continue to work.

The new phone numbers are as follows:

Call Toll-Free From:

Canada, US:       1-855-222-4051
Mexico:              0-1-800-522-0029
United Kingdom:  0-800-252-074

Call Direct From:  
Cuba:                  1-204-946-2946

Call Collect or Direct From:
All other countries: 1-204-946-2577 
Since all phone numbers that are currently in place will continue to work, there is no need to replace your existing Global Medical Assistance cards.  GMA cards will be updated to reflect the new phone numbers once the current stock of cards is depleted. 
Manulife - Quarterly Updates   


Trip Cancellation Now an Available Add-On to Group Benefit Plans

Manulife is now offering a maximum of of $5,000 per covered person under their new trip cancellation optional add-on benefit for clients with Extended Health Care.

This product covers such cancellation instances as medical conditions and death, government advisories, loss of employment and natural disasters, among others. 

If your staff travels often, for personal or business reasons, you may wish to consider adding this useful benefit to your plan. Contact your Montridge advisor for more information. 

Group Benefits Mobile Coming Soon 


Manulife is working on the final touches of their new mobile application, which will allow plan members to view their benefits and submit claims right from their smart phone.  The app will be compatible with Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows devices. 


HCSA Deposit Requests


Manulife would like to remind clients with an annual HCSA deposit to notify them of the deposit each year.  In order to avoid claim delays, you should send the deposit request prior to the deposit effective date.  The deposit amount and employee listing should be presented in a specific format; please contact your Montridge service representative should you require the template.


Sun Life Financial - Quarterly Updates   

Sun Life Presents Disability Workshops

Save the date Vancouver: March 11, 2014

Sun Life Financial has partnered with the Conference Board of Canada to present Effectively Managing Absenteeism, a workshop on driving productivity and organizational performance by improving disability management practices and reducing absenteeism. 

The workshop will travel across Canada and land in Vancouver on March 11.

Sun Life clients are eligible for a special registration rate.  If you are interested in attending, please contact your Montridge service representative - registration is open now! 
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This newsletter is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.  All information and opinions contained in this newsletter are obtained from various sources and are believed to be true and dependable; however, accuracy of content is not guaranteed and is not to be read or applied as professional advice.