SMEs underestimate the importance of pension benefits to their employees

  • Environics survey shows small and medium-sized businesses underrate the value of workplace retirement plans to their employees
  • Standard Life introduces a simpler pension solution based on both employees' and employers' needs

MONTREAL, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Standard Life") today announced a new retirement solution, "Pension in a Box", designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") offer their employees a workplace retirement plan that answers their needs. Pension in a Box is intended to help the millions of Canadians who work for an SME to save for the future, and it will also help SMEs in terms of employee retention and satisfaction.

In a 2012 Environics Research Group survey1 conducted for Standard Life, over nine out of 10 SME employees (92%) rank workplace savings and retirement plans as an important factor in remaining with their employer, ranking it among the top three benefits. Yet, the majority of SME executives (69%) rank workplace savings and retirement plans as only the seventh most important benefit in motivating and retaining employees.

"SMEs make up the vast majority of businesses in Canada. When it comes to group retirement plans, their needs and resources are different from larger organizations. Consequently, workplace savings and retirement plans need to be adapted to their reality," said Michel Fortin, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Solutions. "This is why we developed Pension in a Box, a simpler retirement solution tailored specifically for SMEs. It allows SME decision-makers to focus on what they do best, that is running their day-to-day business, and not worrying about the complexities of managing a pension plan. They can leave this to us at Standard Life, where our goal is to share our expertise with our clients, and remain at the forefront in developing solutions that meet the evolving needs of employers, from the simplest to the most sophisticated pension offering."

Pension in a Box highlights
Pension in a Box is a simple, flexible and online workplace retirement solution. It takes into account employees' needs and degrees of investment knowledge, as well as their comfort level with various financial products.

Pension in a Box offers investment options that are part of Standard Life's comprehensive and select investment platform. It allows employers to build an attractive and competitive program using a range of savings and retirement plans that help employees save for the future, such as:

  • Defined Contribution Registered Pension Plan (DC-RPP)
  • Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Non-Registered Savings Plan (NRSP)
  • Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP)

Benefits to employees, employers and advisors
Pension in a Box holds benefits for employees, employers and their advisors:

  • Employees can plan for retirement with user-friendly online tools.
  • Employers can access online tools and services that make administration easy and efficient, as well as Standard Life's longstanding expertise in terms of governance responsibilities, such as compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Advisors can develop and build long-term partnerships with employers by offering group benefits, and become a key provider of financial advice to employees.

Additional information on Pension in a Box is available on http://www.standardlife.ca/en/employer/retirement/pensioninabox.html or by talking to an advisor.

Fact sheets are available at SME Opportunities.

About Standard Life

Standard Life plc is a leading long-term savings and investment company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life has around six million customers worldwide and operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia, and globally with Standard Life Investments Ltd.

In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for 180 years. It operates under Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd. It is Standard Life plc's largest operation outside the UK with about 2,000 employees. It provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members.

As of September 30, 2012, Standard Life plc had C$337 billion in assets under administration, including C$44 billion in Canada through Standard Life Financial.

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1  Survey conducted for Standard Life by Environics Research Group with 400 SME officers and 600 SME employees in fall 2012.

SOURCE: STANDARD LIFE

For further information:

Geoffrey King
514-499-7999, ext. 8150
geoffrey.king@standardlife.ca