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Severance Packages

It has been a very difficult time in the City of Calgary. With the lower oil prices, and more recently, the Coronavirus pandemic, companies are struggling to keep employees, and as a result we have been speaking with many people who have been laid off. We are here to help. We have extensive experience in helping people ensure that their severance packages can help carry them until they find a new job. We can also guide individuals through decisions regarding their work pension plans and creating a plan to help provide comfort in a very difficult time.


If you are laid off, chances are you will receive a package from your employer highlighting a few choices you have when it comes to benefits and your company-held investments. In order to ensure that you get the most from these choices it is very important that you do not delay opening your package, as there will be a time frame that you will be held to. Typically it will be 1-3 months before your options expire, but given it will be a time of stress you may not get around to it in time.

Contact us if you are confused by the package you receive and we would be happy to provide you with some advice during this major transition. 

Investment Options

One of the more confusing aspects of the package you will receive will be your investment options with money that was held with your company while you worked there. You may have Defined Contribution Pension Plans (DCPP), Defined Benefit Pension Plans (DBPP), Group Registered Retirement Savings Plans (GRRSP) or Employee Savings Plans (ESP) held with your employer.

Having dealt with many employer severance packages, we are more than familiar with the process of ensuring your money is working hard for you after you leave your employer.

Defined Benefit Plans are usually the most complicated, and rather than telling you to take the commuted value, we discuss how the plan can continue to work for you after you retire. We work through a financial plan, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of making changes to defined benefit and ensure that the choice is right for you, many times meaning that you continue on with your DB. 

Continuing Insurance Coverage

Many people depend on their employers for their insurance needs. This insurance can include life, disability and medical insurance benefits that will cease upon employment. This means that a tough situation can be made worse, should you experience the need for insurance while not employed.

We will review your insurance to make sure that you are adequately covered for risks that you may face. There is even a program which can help continue some of your medical insurance benefits that we can discuss when we meet. Many of these decisions regarding insurance need to be made within 30 days of your last day of employment, so do not delay in contacting us to discuss your changing needs. We have found that the costs for many of these insurances do not need to be onerous and can be changed as you, once again, find employment.

We understand that if you have experienced a loss of employment that it is a time of stress and worry. We aim to take some of the stress off of your shoulders and offer advice that makes sense to your situation. If you or someone you know has lost their job and needs help, please give us a call at (403) 220-9808 or send us an email.