WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Manulife Financial is the first Canadian company to be issued a license to administer federal Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), a new financial solution which many Canadians want and need.
The company was issued its license to be a PRPP administrator by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).
In December 2012, the Government of Canada finalized the Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) Act regulations, marking the creation of a brand-new workplace retirement savings plan - and an innovative opportunity for Canadians who currently do not have access to a retirement savings vehicle through their employer.
The OSFI approval is the first step in enabling Manulife Financial to introduce its new and easily-administered PRPP aimed at helping more Canadians to save for their future.
"The one thing employers, employees, government officials and industry experts agree on when it comes to our retirement savings system is that many Canadians are not saving enough," said Sue Reibel, Senior Vice President, Group Benefits and Retirement Solutions at Manulife. "As a leader in providing group retirement solutions to Canadian business, Manulife is committed to helping to close that gap. PRPPs have been designed to make it simple and easy for Canadian small businesses to provide a cost effective retirement savings plan to their employees."
"I congratulate Manulife on being the first out of the gate to receive official approval to administer PRPPs," said Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State for Finance. He added, "Our government encourages those provinces that haven't tabled PRPP legislation to do so quickly. All Canadians should be able to take advantage of this new and innovative low-cost savings option. PRPPs will help address a gap in private savings and leave more money in the pockets of savers."
Important first step
Once final registration of Manulife Financial's PRPP product is received from OSFI and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the product can be offered to federally-regulated businesses across Canada, and to any business or self-employed individuals within the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Employees of businesses in the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are also eligible to participate in a PRPP, even if their employer has not yet implemented a formal plan. The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have also passed their own Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) Act. The next step for these provinces will be to develop the regulations necessary for the legislation to be implemented. Once other provinces release their own PRPP legislation, Manulife will offer plans to their residents, businesses and self-employed individuals.
"Today's approval marks an important first step in enabling many more businesses to help their employees put money away for their retirement," added Ms. Reibel. "We are hopeful that the federal government's efforts will serve as a model for all provinces to move forward with their own PRPP legislation, in an effort to provide more Canadians with access to workplace retirement savings plans."
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$567 billion (US$539 billion) as at June 30, 2013. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation
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