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April Benefits Newsletter

By April 11, 2023April 14th, 2023Newsletters
April Benefits Newsletter

The April Benefits Newsletter includes:

We're Moving!

Please note our new address effective May 1, 2023.

A1-844 McLeod Ave.
Winnipeg, MB
R2G 2T7

The Benefits of Serving

Pamela (seated fourth from the left) has been a gift to the board with her many contributions, especially with her insights and suggestions for GSI’s communications. We thank her for service and sharing her skills with GSI.

Please take a moment to read her reflections what service on the GSI Board is like.

Top 5 Reasons to Serve on the GSI Board

by Pamela Giles

Serving on the GSI Board for the past decade has been a great experience for me. Now that my second term is completed, I’d like to share my story and encourage you to apply to become a Board Member. Here are a few aspects of this role that I appreciated:


  1. Professional development. I was originally elected as a non-rostered Pension Plan Member who knew very little about pensions, investments, or benefits plans. We often have presentations about these topics at Board meetings, and Board members are encouraged to attend conferences such as those put on by Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, at GSI’s expense. Though I still have much to learn about investments, my deeper understanding of pensions and benefits plans has proved useful for myself, my family, and my friends — including those who don’t work in the ELCIC.


  1. Getting to know great people. My learning did not come only from conferences and presentations. The other board members and the GSI staff all share their particular expertise. Through them, I’ve learned not only about topics relevant to GSI and the ELCIC, but also useful tips about travel, money-saving, fashion, fine dining, photography, fitness, music, and much more. There has been so much laughter! I always felt supported, encouraged, and appreciated. I will remain friends with some of my former Board member colleagues even now that my time among them is done.


  1. Building your resume. Board service looks great on a resume and demonstrates skills that aren’t part of your regular job. This is especially valuable for an early-career, non-rostered plan member, like I was when I started. The GSI board is a great experience among not-for-profit boards: everything is very well organized, and you know exactly what is expected of you; there’s no expectation that you will donate to the organization (in fact, you can’t!); and the time commitment is not onerous. In my day job as a consultant, I’ve personally found that potential clients are impressed that I’ve served on the executive of a national board specializing in pension and benefits.


  1. Trips to Winnipeg. Before my time on the Board, Winnipeg was not high on my list of “places I’m eager to visit.” But my semi-annual visits for our meetings have given me a great appreciation for the city. During my tenure, the Board visited the Human Rights Museum twice; the first time, it wasn’t even quite finished being built. I’ve enjoyed exploring the Forks, downtown, and Saint Boniface on foot in the evenings. I joined the Board for supper at many excellent restaurants, and I enjoyed touring the GSI Office and the National ELCIC and CLWR office space. I will really miss those trips!


  1. Making a difference. The Board works collaboratively with the Executive Director, Lisa Thiessen, and decisions are made as a group. However, there have been many times when my own ideas helped shape those decisions. I have many friends who are members of the ELCIC Pension and Benefits Plans, and it feels really good to know that I have been involved in improving those Plans.

If the idea of being part of this awesome group is appealing to you, please visit the “Seeking Directors” tab on this page of the GSI website and consider sending in a Biographical Data application. Adventures in Winnipeg await!


Experts explain that the mind-connection deals with the impact on our physical health when our mental or emotional health suffers and vice-versa.

When employees are stressed, anxious or depressed, their physical health can deteriorate. Similarly, when their physical health isn’t at its best, it can impact their nervous system and emotional or mental health.

This month, in line with World Health Day, we talk about the full spectrum of well-being and cover the importance of using a whole-person

approach to care.

May Webinar

Please bookmark the upcoming May webinar.

Theme: Mental Health Week – Everybody has a story  

Ask an Expert Question / Concern: Someone I know opened up about their mental health struggles but I don’t know how to help them. What should I do?  

 Date: Wednesday, May 3   

Time: 12:00 – 12:30 PM ET  

Description: When we practice empathy, we also practice active listening. When we encourage someone to be vulnerable and open up about their mental health struggles, what comes next? What do we do with that information? This month, CloudMD explains how to respond to vulnerability in the most helpful way possible. 

How Exercise Can Help Boost Your Immune System

In recent times, the importance of our immune system has been highlighted more than ever.

Did you know that exercise is one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system?

Exercise can help us reduce stress, increase circulation and stimulate the production of antibodies.

This article explains the many ways exercise boosts our immunity and provides beginner-friendly workout options.

Spending Account Changes

Starting January 1, 2023, the amount of your Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) benefit was combined with your Health Care Spending Account (HCSA). The entire amount is now non-taxable. The deadline for making claims for 2022 expenses has now passed and any unused LSA carryforward balance from 2022 has been added to your HCSA. You will have to end of 2024 to use this amount.

Information on what is eligible and how to make a claim can be found on the Spending Account page.

Have a question for GSI?

If you have a question for GSI, please reach out. Information and resources can also be found on the GSI website.
GSI Website:
Winnipeg Residents: 204-984-9181
Toll Free: 1-877-352-4247
Email Us