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Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan Whether it’s NEST in the United Kingdom, Australia’s superannuation system, the KiwiSaver in New Zealand, or the new VRSP in Quebec, all have one thing in common: a realization that people need some sort of nudge to help them save for retirement. The DC-type plans have some key differences, but a core element is a requirement ...more

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor Retirement anxiety is a real and tangible concern for millions of Canadians. More than 60 per cent don’t have an occupational pension plan, and for them the traditional notion of the ‘golden years’ is fast becoming unattainable. Efforts are being made to solve the riddle of inadequate retirement income, with solutions including the promised Ontario Retirement ...more

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever As Canadian pension plans surge back towards surplus on the strength of stellar 2013 investment returns, cooler heads realize the good times won’t last forever and that funds need to continue to manage risk to keep the pension benefits flowing to retirees. Leo de Bever seems to fit comfortably into this group of cautious managers. The ...more

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits Canadians are becoming increasingly anxious that their retirement years may not be as golden as once imagined, and they are willing to bargain with employers to achieve greater retirement security. A report by Towers Watson, the Global Benefits Attitude Survey, reveals Canadians are so concerned about their retirement readiness, they are willing to trade wages for ...more

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay The Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison McKay as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Alison was selected to replace former CEO Brad Garvey who left the organisation in April, 2013 due to a sudden and unexpected illness. “I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead as SHEPP builds on recent ...more

ARIA exclusive: Adequate retirement income good for people and economy: Murray Gold

ARIA exclusive: Adequate retirement income good for people and economy: Murray Gold Even though analysis shows that an expanded Canada Pension (CPP) would benefit younger Canadians more than it would boomers at or near retirement’s door, some opponents of higher contributions to pay for better benefits insist younger Canadians would be footing the bill for an older generation that hasn’t saved enough. It would take decades for higher ...more

Increased longevity fuels retirement-income anxiety

Increased longevity fuels retirement-income anxiety The good news is that Canadians are indeed living longer and generally healthier lives. The bad news is that where there is life there is expense and Canadians, notably those not in a defined benefit pension plan, have to come up with the money to fund those extra years. And as Ian Markham, Retirement Innovation Leader ...more

Data shows pension coverage a problem for the private sector

Data shows pension coverage a problem for the private sector Pension experts across the developed world agree that a retirement crisis driven by the lack of adequate retirement income will have serious consequences for individuals and economies. The range of dire outcomes from not having enough retirement income include an increase in the rates of senior poverty, people simply not having enough income to ever fully ...more

Savings program designed to get workers in the habit of preparing for retirement

Savings program designed to get workers in the habit of preparing for retirement It’s not a pension plan, but it does have at least one important component of one: payroll deduction. And one of the hopes for it is that it will at least get low-income people without much in the way of potential retirement money to begin saving. The myIRA concept Barrack Obama announced in his State of ...more

NB retirees continue to fight for their pensions

NB retirees continue to fight for their pensions Politicians have learned to tread lightly when it comes to retirees and their pensions. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will likely attest to that, remembering his encounter with a senior citizen during a 1986 protest in Ottawa. Mulroney had made a decision to partly de-index pensions, a move that earned the ire of protester Solange Denis, ...more

Lack of CPP reform unfair to younger Canadians: Mathyssen

Lack of CPP reform unfair to younger Canadians: Mathyssen Intergenerational fairness is a term often used in the context of pension reform, with opponents of measures to improve retirement security often asking whether younger Canadians should be on the hook for boomers who haven’t been able to accumulate sufficient retirement income. The chatter is most often heard in relation to proposals to beef up Canada ...more

Time to deal with retirement insecurity: Rankin

Time to deal with retirement insecurity: Rankin As Murray Rankin moves across the country meeting with ordinary Canadians “of a certain age” about pressing issues of today and tomorrow, including the provision of adequate retirement income, he wishes he could see some younger faces in the crowds. Particularly on retirement issues, which many experts and observers predict will impact younger Canadians as much ...more

We’re All Invested – DB plans “part of the solution” in addressing retirement income crisis

We’re All Invested – DB plans “part of the solution” in addressing retirement income crisis A retirement income crisis awaits us if action is not taken on expanding workplace pension coverage in Ontario and across the country. That was one of the key messages delivered at “We’re All Invested,” an information session held March 17 at the MaRS Centre in Toronto. The event was sponsored by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension ...more

Alberta pension plans set to return to surplus without any changes: McGowan of the AFL

Alberta pension plans set to return to surplus without any changes: McGowan of the AFL Public sector pension plans are the cornerstone of retirement security for more than 300,000 Albertans, and if changes need to be made to them, the reasons should be justified and transparent, says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. However, the changes to the province’s pension plans being pushed by the Alberta government are ...more

Collective approach needed for DC to work: Baldwin

Collective approach needed for DC to work: Baldwin A conversation with noted pension authority Bob Baldwin is not a this-or-that exercise. Rather, when discussing the provision of adequate retirement income, the dialogue is more of a nuanced exploration of issues, challenges and solutions. If it’s absolutes you seek when it comes to retirement and pension questions, Baldwin offers a broader perspective. For instance, he ...more

DC retirement shifts planning burden onto individual’s shoulders

DC retirement shifts planning burden onto individual’s shoulders For a member of a traditional pension plan, the defined-benefit model, transitioning into retirement is a relatively simple process: you let your employer know you are moving on, sign some papers and wait for the pension to arrive, probably through direct deposit into your bank account. However, for the more than 60 per cent of Canadians ...more

DC plans need DB investment focus: Dickson

DC plans need DB investment focus: Dickson How to address retirement anxiety and provide an adequate income is a growing problem being tackled by pension systems and retirement experts throughout the developed world, with one country’s problems sounding very similar to another’s. A number of options have been discussed in Canada to resolve retirement income inadequacy, including expanding the Canada Pension Plan. In ...more

Pension costs not to blame for perceived financial woes of American cities, study finds

Pension costs not to blame for perceived financial woes of American cities, study finds With the bankruptcy of Detroit and other American cities said to be teetering on a similar precipice, some American observers are predicting widespread calamity, with unfunded pension liabilities catching much of the blame. However, a report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College reveals pension costs are not the driving force behind the financial ...more

Provincial government announces Jim Keohane to help design made-in-Ontario pension solution

Provincial government announces Jim Keohane to help design made-in-Ontario pension solution Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) President & CEO Jim Keohane has been asked by the Ontario government to serve on the Technical Advisory Group on Retirement Security that will work on the development of a new Ontario pension solution, designed to strengthen retirement income security for people across the province. While serving on this ...more

Auto-enrollment, low fees and effective oversight would strengthen PRPP model: Ed Waitzer

Auto-enrollment, low fees and effective oversight would strengthen PRPP model: Ed Waitzer If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it’s a duck. Similarly, if it works like an RRSP, it’s more than likely an RRSP, no matter how it’s packaged. Even though it contains the word pension in its name, critics say the federal government’s Pooled Registered Pension ...more

In The Headlines
Bank finds connection between lower wages and not being able to retire – ARIA post

(July 23, 2014) A connection between lower wages and people waiting longer to retire is being suggested by the Bank of England, reports The Telegraph. According to the bank, average weekly earnings in the United Kingdom have declined even though the economy added almost 350,000 jobs in March and April, reports The Telegraph. Wages, say Bank ...more

Workers miss out on full employer contribution match – ARIA post

(July 23, 2014) Having an employer who matches employee pension contributions is an important component of saving enough for a comfortable retirement, but not all American workers are putting enough aside to receive the maximum employer contribution, reports Benefits Canada. According to a TIAA-CREF survey, 78 per cent of Americans contributing to an employer-sponsored plan get matching ...more

Pension smoothing puts plans at risk – ARIA post

(July 23, 2014) In a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the US Congress has linked highway repairs with what is called ‘pension smoothing,’ reports The Economist. To get the funds to repair roads and bridges, which should be funded by a bigger gas tax but isn’t, Congress is letting companies engage in pension smoothing, ...more

Spending while maintaining principal a tough balance to find – ARIA post

(July 23, 2014) Canadians accumulating retirement income through personal savings and/or defined contribution plans need to be concerned about longevity risk, market variables, and drawdown guidelines. Writing in the Huffington Post, Fred Vettese says that for those relying heavily on savings for retirement income, “nothing is as important as determining how much you can safely withdraw ...more

Teachers’ fills two top positions – ARIA post

(July 22, 2014) The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) administration has two new postings to senior positions, Ron Mock, President and CEO of Teachers’, is pleased to announce. Hersh Joshi is promoted to Vice-President, Taxation, and Ken Manget is appointed Vice-President, Infrastructure, according to a release, which included the following details: “Mr. Joshi has worked for Teachers’ for ...more

Fears raised that new UK rules could empty pension pots – ARIA post

(July 22, 2014) New rules governing what people can do with their retirement pots could be costly for Britons who take advantage of them, reports the Daily Mail. Essentially, the new rules allow Britons, even those with final salary and career average pensions, to have unrestricted access to their funds as of next year – “but ...more

401(k) plans not that keen on annuities, despite nudge from feds – ARIA post

(July 22, 2014) In a defined benefit pension plan, retirees don’t have to worry about running out of retirement income – the pension is for life. Not so for members of defined contribution plans, or 401(k) schemes as they are known in the United States. The longevity risk, that you will outlive your retirement savings, is a ...more

CPPIB parks investment with Brussels-based firm – ARIA post

(July 21, 2014) The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is parking a significant investment to get a 39 per cent stake in a European company based in Brussels, reports www.bpmmaagazine.com. The investment arm of the CPP is investing in Interparking, one of Europe’s largest car park management companies, buying it from Board European Holdings, reports www.bpmmaagazine.com. The parking firm has ...more

Time for feds to listen to Canadians on pension reform – ARIA post

(July 21, 2014) Federal efforts to enhance retirement income are misguided and ignore the central problem of Canadians not being able to accumulate enough savings to deliver adequate retirement income, writes Shannon Bittman. The vice-president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) writes on the institute’s website that the government’s proffered solutions, including ...more

Federal government out of step on pensions – ARIA post

(July 21, 2014) The federal government is on the wrong page with Canadians in a number of files, including pension provision, writes Dean Beeby in the Huffington Post. The federal finance department has conducted public opinion research that shows the government to be at odds with what the public wants, and that includes its approach to the ...more

OTPP leads team to buy First American – ARIA post

(July 21, 2014) An investor group led by The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) has reached an agreement to acquire First American Payment Systems, reports Benefits Canada. The company’s current majority owner is private investment firm Lindsay Goldberg, reports Benefits Canada. “First American is at an exciting point in the company’s evolution, and we look forward to collaborating with ...more

Data supports existence of pension crisis – ARIA post

(July 21, 2014) Writing online at www.marketwatch.com, Alicia Munnell says that yes indeed, there is a pension crisis. Responding to suggestions that no such crisis exists, Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, says evidence and research demonstrate the crisis is real. She challenges the assertions of critics who list a number of “targets suggesting the ...more

No rush to adopt DC plans in American public sector – ARIA post

(July 18, 2014) While changes to mitigate risk have been seen in American public sector plans, they are being made within the framework of the defined benefit model, reports Reuters. No rush to a defined contribution model is occurring in the American public sector, unlike that which happened in the private sector. It means that pension ...more

Inquiry a “damning verdict” on Australia’s superannuation system – ARIA post

(July 18, 2014) An inquiry into Australia’s superannuation system concludes it isn’t giving people enough choice to let them manage risk in retirement, reports the Sydney Sunday Morning Herald. The system also fails to “guide” retirees with financial advice needed to make complex decisions during the drawdown phase of retirement, reports The Herald, calling the inquiry’s findings ...more

Americans favour auto escalation of contributions – ARIA post

(July 17, 2014) The value of auto escalation in pension plans is recognized and favoured by 55 per cent of American plan members, reports Benefits Canada. According to a survey by American United Life Insurance Company, automatically increasing contributions to produce higher retirement benefits ranks high with employees. “Automatic features can help plan participants easily increase their retirement ...more

American women show little confidence for retirement prospects – ARIA post

(July 17, 2014) A majority of American women are not confident about their retirement prospects, reports Benefits Canada. Only a third say they are on “track or ahead of schedule in planning for retirement,” a number down from the 46 per cent of women who said in 2008 they were moving in the right retirement direction, ...more

PSP Investments posts 16.3 per cent return – ARIA post

(July 17, 2014) The good times keep rolling for Canadian pension plans with the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) announcing it has joined the double-didget investment return club. PSP announced that it had a record investment return of 16. 3 per cent, for fiscal year 2014, which ended March 31, according to a release posted ...more

CARP welcomes new Ontario pension plan – ARIA post

(July 17, 2014) A new provincial pension plan of the type laid out in Monday’s budget will help Ontarians have a more secure retirement, says CARP. The advocacy group for retired people says it welcomes the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) as a means to bolster retirement income for people who don’t have an occupational pension, ...more

Ontario pension plan a real fix for a real problem – ARIA post

(July 16, 2014) With the Queen’s Park Liberals’ budget now reintroduced, the government must “fix its gaze on the the proposed budget’s most innovative reform proposal: the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan,” writes Yves Guillaume A. Messy in the Huffington Post. The June 12 election returned the Liberals to office with a stronger mandate than before the ...more

Competitive wages and benefits give employers an edge – ARIA post

(July 16, 2014) They may say they have the perfect job, but employers shouldn’t count too much on their employees being overly loyal. In bygone days workers spent all, or most, of their working live with one employer, who rewarded that loyalty with decent wages and benefits, including a defined benefit pension plan. As that covenant ...more