Insurance Professionals: Alberta Continuing Education –  New Expiry Dates

Insurance Professionals: Alberta Continuing Education – New Expiry Dates

To continue to provide the highest quality continuing education (CE) for insurance professionals in Alberta, the Alberta Accreditation Committee (AAC) has determined that CE without expiry dates and those accredited for longer than three years, will be phased out and no longer be accredited for CE purposes. This ensures that all CE offered aligns to current market conditions and trends.

How does this affect you?

If you’re completing your CE with ILScorp…

it doesn’t affect you at all!

ILScorp has re-accredited all of our Alberta continuing education courses to meet the new CE standards and requirements.

So don’t worry, take all the CE you need! Our courses are accredited

Alberta General CE

Each course that is accredited in Alberta will display both an Alberta Flag and an AIC#.

Alberta Life/A&S CE

Remember courses that are technical in nature qualify for continuing education requirements. Again if you see the Alberta flag and the AIC# then that course is valid in Alberta. Your courses will also display the word “Technical” in the CE Credit Type field.

Courses that are sales oriented or more along the lines of broker skills, such as Angry Customers and how to Deal with Them, do not qualify for Alberta continuing education so you will not see an Alberta flag or AIC# on that course.

If you need assistance completing your 15 hours of CE, contact ILScorp today!

The Alberta Accreditation Committee, as delegated by the Minister, is responsible for reviewing and approving continuing education providers, continuing education courses, and the hours and means of calculating the continuing education hours, for each course or seminar that can be used towards the 15-hour requirement that licensed agents and adjusters must satisfy each licensing year.

Edited for ilstv.com

Overpaid workers will only pay back ‘net’ amounts under proposed new tax rules

By Terry Pedwell

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ The country’s biggest civil-service union declared a victory for its members Tuesday as the Trudeau government moved to change a tax rule that has caused headaches for federal employees overpaid by the problem-plagued civil service pay system.

The Finance Department announced draft legislation that would see overpaid employees  regardless who they work for  required to repay only the amounts deposited into their bank accounts in a prior tax year.

The draft was released shortly before the government also announced it was replacing the top bureaucrat in charge of the buggy Phoenix pay system.

Marie Lemay, whom many frustrated civil servants turned to directly for help in dealing with pay gaffes, was appointed as senior adviser to the secretariat that runs the federal cabinet, the Privy Council Office,  “prior to an upcoming appointment,” the Prime Minister’s Office announced.

Lemay had worked as deputy minister in charge of Phoenix since shortly after the system was launched in the spring of 2016, and was the public face of Phoenix as complaints about paycheques began pouring into her office at Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Many of those complaints involved overpayments to government employees, which were exacerbated by stiffly interpreted federal tax laws.

Under current legislation, any employee who received an overpayment in a previous year was required to pay back the gross amount of the overpayment to their employer, which includes income taxes, Canada Pension Plan contributions and Employment Insurance premiums.

In many cases, the law meant workers were required to pay back to the government hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars they never directly received.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents the bulk of federal workers, had called on Ottawa to exempt civil servants from the tax law, given the size and complexity of overpayments made through the Phoenix system.

It called the proposed new legislation a “major victory” while lamenting that the move should have been made much sooner.

“We would have preferred to have this legislation tabled years ago, but we’re pleased that it will be retroactive to 2016, the year the Phoenix crisis began,” PSAC national president Chris Aylward said in a statement.

“The government must now move as quickly as possible to implement the legislation.”

Since its launch nearly three years ago, more than half the federal civil service more than 156,000 workers have been overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all through Phoenix.

For many of those who inadvertently received too much pay, returning the money has been a two-pronged nightmare. In many cases, employees were told to keep track of the money, but not to pay it back until later so as to not further burden the pay system.

Those same employees who hadn’t paid back the overpayments until a following tax year were later told they must pay back the amounts deposited to their bank accounts, plus CPP contributions, EI premiums and income taxes that had already been deducted by their employer.

“To alleviate this burden and help affected employees, the Department of Finance Canada is releasing draft legislative proposals that would under certain conditions permit an affected employee to repay to their employer only the net amount of the overpayment received in a previous year, rather than the gross amount,” the department said in a statement Tuesday.

“Under the proposed legislation, the (Canada Revenue Agency) would be able to refund directly to the employer the income tax, CPP, and EI withheld on an overpayment that occurred through a system, administrative, or clerical error. As a result, affected employees who received overpayments through no fault of their own would no longer be responsible for recovering these amounts from the CRA and repaying the gross amount of the overpayment to their employer.”

Even though the draft legislation is only in the proposal stages, the department said public and private-sector employees can apply the new rules to their individual tax situations “immediately” for overpayments made after 2015, and that CRA will process overpayments as if the legislation has already been enacted.

The government’s goal in launching Phoenix in 2016 was to streamline multiple outdated civil service pay systems, and save taxpayers millions of dollars in the process.

But the bungled pay project was estimated by the end of 2018 to have cost $1.1 billion, including its implementation and efforts aimed at stabilizing it that have continued into this year.

Saskatchewan increases maternity, adoption leave to 19 weeks

Saskatchewan is proposing to increase maternity and adoption leaves to offer what the province says will be the longest time off in the country.

A bill introduced in the legislature would allow new mothers to take 19 weeks off _ one week more than they get now.

The proposal would also align parental leave with new federal standards of 59 weeks for a mother if she took full leave.

If another parent took the entire leave or collected employment insurance, parental leave would expand to 63 weeks.

The government also plans to make workers eligible to take 17 weeks off to care for critically ill adult family members.

Interpersonal violence leave is to be extended to 10 days to include survivors of sexual violence.

Survivors can use the time to seek medical or legal assistance, move to a safe space or obtain support services.

“During a major life event, such as bringing a child into the family or assisting a loved one experiencing a serious illness, workers should not have to worry about job security,” Labour Relations Minister Don Morgan said Wednesday in a statement.

5 million claimants expected benefit from reduction of Employment Insurance waiting period

The Government of Canada is commited to help the middle class and  those working hard to join it. As a result of changes made on January 1, 2017, the waiting period for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits has been cut to one week. Reducing the waiting period  provides more money for EI-eligible individuals when they become unemployed or leave work temporarily due to health or family pressures. By October 1, 2019, about five million cumulative claimants will have benefitted from this change.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced that this change has resulted in an estimated additional $650 million dollars a year.

For example, for an eligible claimant who is laid off, and subsequently finds work after 12 weeks, the change means that up to 11 weeks of EI benefits will be payable whereas only up to 10 weeks were payable in the past. The reduction of the waiting period applies to all types of EI benefits—regular, fishing, sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care, Family Caregiver benefits.

This is just one part of the Government of Canada’s recent actions to provide workers, parents and caregivers with more flexible, inclusive and easier to access EI benefits. These include:

  • making the default rules of the most recent Working While on Claim pilot project permanent and extending them to EI maternity and sickness benefits;
  • providing a choice of duration of parental benefits;
  • providing additional weeks of EI regular benefits to eligible seasonal claimants in 13 targeted regions; and,
  • providing more opportunities for eligible EI claimants to upskill and enhance their employability while still receiving EI benefits.

Finally, new parental sharing benefits that provide additional weeks of benefits to families when parents of a newborn or newly adopted child share parental benefits will be available starting in March 2019.

Quote
“Every Canadian’s situation is unique. By providing support sooner, we are ensuring middle class families has the money they need, when they need it the most.  We are making EI caregiving, maternity and parental benefits more flexible, inclusive and easier to access, we are providing hard-working middle-class Canadian families with more options to better balance their work and life responsibilities.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick Facts

  • The reduction in the waiting period does not affect the speed of the first payment. The current standard of providing payment within 28 days, 80 percent of the time, continues to apply.
  • About two-thirds of claimants return to work before using all their weeks of entitlement.
  • The 2019 EI premium rate will be $1.62 per $100 of insurable earnings—a decrease of 4 cents for employees compared to the 2018 rate and an effective decrease of 5 cents for employers, who pay 1.4 times the employee rate.
  • It is estimated a cumulative total of about 2.2 million claimants would benefit from the Working While on Claim measure as of October 1, 2019.
  • The pilot project aimed at assisting seasonal workers is expected to help approximately 51,500 EI seasonal claimants annually.
  • With Skills Boost,it is estimated that about 7,000 adult learners per year will take advantage of the expansion of EI options to take training while continuing to receive EI benefits.

Associated Link

Reducing the two-week waiting period to one week

Employment Insurance Improvements

ILScorp is Hiring: Learning Management Specialist / Developer

ILScorp is Hiring: Learning Management Specialist / Developer

Job Summary:

We are looking for a Learning Management System (LMS) professional to help our team oversee and maintain our server infrastructure and proprietary LMS system. This person will develop provided LMS content and create traditional PHP/Java based web services to implement into our global LMS strategy. The Learning Management Specialist shall provide technical best practices and recommendations to programmers and instructional designers for loading content onto the Learning Management Systems and will provide production and development support as a key member of the IT team.

Candidate must be a quick learner and be able to work effectively both independently and in a team environment. The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated, enthusiastic, self-starting team player.

Qualifications:

  • Must have experience with PHP, HTML, and/or JavaScript
  • Microsoft SQL or MySQL Database knowledge required
  • Effective  interpersonal and communication skills, both verbally and in writing
  • Excellent Problem-solving skills, analytical and organizational skills and demonstrates close attention to detail

 

Job Description:

  • Troubleshooting online course content and various LMS related issues
  • Upgrade existing applications for efficiency and usability with new modifications
  • Publish new courses and updating existing course content
  • Build/upgrade Web applications according to client needs
  • Design and implement web-specific applications/tools for LMS administration
  • Document procedures, technical instructions and business knowledge
  • Troubleshoot WordPress related issues
  • Run custom database queries according to client needs using standard SQL tools
  • Manage Windows Server applications and troubleshoot same
  • Maintain employee email management via Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Troubleshoot any network related issues both internally and externally

 

Desired Skills:

  • Experience with various programming languages
  • LMS Proficiency
  • Understanding of Software developing life cycles (SDLC)
  • Strong understanding of programming logic/workflow, and data population
  • Experience in data analysis, SQL, and object-oriented programming languages
  • Full Stack, Object-Oriented, API experience, etc., not required but strong plus

 

Company Description:

ILS Corp is an industry leader in Canada providing internet based insurance training. Building on more than two decades of live insurance training, in 2000, ILS Corp went online with ilscorp.com and became the first independent organization to offer online continuing education and insurance licensing preparation training. In 2007, ILS Corp offered the first insurance education courses in a video-streaming format. Today, ILS Corp continues to be the insurance training course provider of choice for more than 21,000 Canadian insurance professionals.

We are a company built on a deep network of expertise and our IT teams are extremely skilled at creating progressive solutions in an ever-changing field of online education.

Location: Comox, BC
Job type: Full Time

Wage: TBA – Based on experience
Work hours: 8:30 am to 5 pm – Monday to Friday with some after-hours support

 

Please email resume and cover letter to careers@ilscorp.com

 

Employment insurance recipient list falls to lowest level since 1997

OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada says the number of people collecting employment insurance in April fell to the lowest level in at least 21 years.

The federal agency says 453,100 people received the regular wage insurance payments in April, down 100,200 or 18 per cent since April 2017, and the lowest number since comparable data became available in 1997.

The reduction in beneficiaries was reflected in every province and coincides with a reduction in the national unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent to a record low of 5.8 per cent over same 12-month period.

StatsCanada also points out there was real gross domestic product growth in every province in 2017 for the first time since 2011.

The agency says the sharpest year-over-year decline in EI recipients took place in Alberta, where the 56,300 people collecting benefits was down nearly 29 per cent from a year earlier.

Other provinces with big declines included Quebec, down 24 per cent; British Columbia, 22 per cent; and Ontario and New Brunswick, each down by 16 per cent.

Changes in the number of beneficiaries are affected by the number of new claims, recipients who go back to work and the number who have exhausted their benefits.

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