WINNIPEG, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Great-West Life today joined the Minister of State (Finance) in announcing the availability of federal pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) to help provide increased access to group retirement savings plans to employees of federally regulated employers. Businesses and self-employed individuals in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are also eligible to participate.
"We believe PRPPs will help improve the adequacy of retirement income for working Canadians by providing low-risk and low-cost employer-sponsored retirement plan options for small- to medium-sized businesses," says Jeff Aarssen, Senior Vice-President of Group Retirement Services for Great-West Life and London Life. "We commend the federal government for implementing a solution to help employers bridge gaps in the retirement system while maintaining existing employer-sponsored retirement plans, and are pleased to introduce our own PRPP to help more Canadians save."
"Our Government believes Canadians deserve to live a secure and dignified retirement," says the Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance). "This is a major milestone in providing an attractive new retirement savings option for Canadians who do not have access to a workplace pension plan. It is also a significant achievement in the Government's ongoing efforts to strengthen Canada's retirement income system, with input from the public as well as industry stakeholders like Great-West Life. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks as well to all approved plan administrators for making federal PRPPs a reality. We encourage those provinces that haven't yet already implemented their respective PRPP frameworks to do so for the benefit of all Canadians."
While the PRPP is available to federally regulated employers only, such as banking, extra-provincial transport and aircraft transport, it is intended to be a framework for provinces that must enact their own legislation in order to offer a PRPP. At the forefront is the Quebec government, whose voluntary retirement savings plan (VRSP) legislation took effect on July 1, 2014. Aarssen encourages all provinces to follow suit with "harmonized legislation that helps employers offer their employees universal access to retirement savings plans and lock in contributions to help preserve accumulated assets earmarked for retirement savings."
Employer-sponsored retirement plans available through Great-West Life are backed by the financial strength and stability of a company that administers more than 17,500* group capital accumulation plans in Canada, 1.3 million* plan member accounts, and has more than $37.6 billion* in group plan assets under administration in Canada.
Employers and advisors looking for more information about PRPPs can visit www.prpp-greatwestlife.com. They can access details about PRPP requirements, watch videos or speak to a specialist for plan information and set up.
Easy to understand investment options
Issued by Great-West Life's subsidiary, London Life, our PRPP lets employees choose from clearly defined, easy to understand investment options. If employees don't make an investment choice, their contributions will be directed into a target date fund that automatically diversifies and rebalances as they approach their anticipated retirement dates.
Eligible staff of participating employers will be automatically enrolled in the plan but may choose to opt out. Participating employees choose their contribution rates, and for those who don't, contributions are set at a default rate.
Employers who choose our PRPP give their staff access to well-managed, comprehensive asset class funds that are multi-manager, multi-investment style and well-diversified among specific asset classes, allowing for a higher potential for investment growth and success.
About Great-West Life
Great-West Life, together with London Life and Canada Life, offers a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions, and serves the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada.
Great-West Life administers more than 17,500* group capital accumulation plans in Canada, and 1.3 million* plan member accounts. Together, the companies represent more than $37.6 billion* under administration.
* As at December 31, 2013
SOURCE: Great-West Life Assurance Company
For further information: Marlene Klassen, APR, Assistant Vice-President, Communication Services, 204.946.7705