An Open Letter to Canada's Finance Ministers

TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Today Open Access Limited, Canada's only defined-contribution fiduciary manager, released the following open letter to Canada's Finance Ministers:

Dear Ministers,

As you prepare to meet on Monday at Meech Lake, there are 11 million working Canadians who are counting on you for an important decision.  These are the individuals without access to a workplace pension - people who are looking for a breakthrough in the Canadian pension marketplace that will help them save for their retirement.  A CPP discussion, complementary or otherwise, does not preclude the need to move quickly on the PRPP/VRSP solution well underway.

Two years ago, you reached agreement on a framework for the introduction of a new type of pension plan -the Pooled Registered Pension Plan, or PRPP - aimed at making well-regulated, low-cost private-sector pension plans accessible to the millions of Canadians without a workplace plan.

To quote from the Federal Finance Minister this August: "PRPPs are the result of federal and provincial governments working together to help ensure the long-term strength of Canada's retirement system. There was unanimous agreement at the December 2010 meeting of federal and provincial finance ministers to pursue a framework for PRPPs as an effective and appropriate way to help bridge existing gaps in the retirement system".

The recent passage by the House of Commons of the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) framework is an important first step in realizing the goal you set two years ago.  Following extensive review, the federal regulations needed to support the framework are now in the process of being finalized.

What's needed now is a renewed commitment from the provinces to enact PRPPs.  Provincial and territorial legislation is needed to extend the reach of the federal legislation and make PRPPs available right across the country.

Ministers, you have a unique opportunity to do what's right for all working Canadians: commit to creating a PRPP that protects the retirement needs and interests of citizens, not commerce - that legally is structured to serve one master - the plan member, and that begins to level the playing field for all workers.

Open Access is evidence of the fact that the Canadian pension marketplace is ready to meet the challenge laid down by you two years ago - for the private sector to step up and provide a low-cost retirement savings opportunity for those without access to a workplace pension plan.

Central to this is the need to bring a discretionary investment management and a fiduciary standard of care option to the PRPP offering.  This is no different than the CPP/QPP, no different than a Defined Benefit plan, and no different than how the wealthy have their money invested on their behalf.  It is how Open Access manages our current members' assets, and is the approach we will take in providing our enhanced version of PRPPs to Canadians.

We're ready, and now we're calling on you to do your part by committing to the introduction of PRPPs in your own jurisdictions.  Millions of Canadians are counting on you.  Those same Canadians will thank you for doing the right thing.

Open Access Limited

Open Access is Canada's first and only Capital Accumulation Plan fiduciary provider, and is driven by a philosophy that all working Canadians deserve to retire well, not just the privileged. Open Access proudly serves as the discretionary investment manager for employers, employees and institutional mandates and prides itself on its practical approach to research and development. The organization adheres to a fiduciary standard that calls for full disclosure, no proprietary offerings, no conflicts of interest and complete transparency.

SOURCE: Open Access Limited

For further information:

Andrew Addison
Fleishman-Hillard
416-645-3648
Andrew.addison@fleishman.ca