Canadian life and health insurance industry comments on Ontario Budget initiatives

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian life and health insurance industry welcomes a number of significant initiatives announced in today's budget.

The industry is particularly pleased with the government's commitment to establish Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) in the fall.  "Systems for these plans are already in place and PRPPs will be able to hit the ground running, giving Ontario workers the immediate opportunity to start saving for retirement at the workplace," says Frank Swedlove, President of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA). "Canada already has a strong retirement income system. The addition of PRPPs will provide an effective, targeted solution for those without workplace plans, especially those in small and medium-sized businesses" he added.

The industry is also pleased with the government's commitment to protect disabled workers in corporate insolvencies. "Recipients of long-term disability benefits are particularly vulnerable if the company has self-financed long-term disability coverage and finds itself in financial difficulty," says Mr. Swedlove. "We commend Ontario for taking the step to ensure that this can no longer happen."

In terms of the government's announcement on infrastructure development, the industry believes that the use of a private-public partnership model will continue to benefit the people of Ontario. "We look forward to working with the Ontario government on how best to develop infrastructure for Ontarians," noted Mr. Swedlove.

Regarding the announcement of an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, the industry believes a more effective solution to meet the needs of those without workplace plans, is through the introduction of PRPPs. It is a targeted solution that can be implemented in an immediate and cost-effective way.

About the CLHIA 

The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides a wide range of financial security products, including life insurance, annuities and supplementary health insurance, to almost 27 million Canadians. The industry administers more than two-thirds of pension plans for Canada's small and medium-sized businesses and the vast majority of group RRSPs. Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance business. 

SOURCE: Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

For further information:

Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations (613) 230-0031/(613) 986-1853 - cell


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