CLHIA applauds moves to expand access to workplace-based savings programs

TORONTO, June 14 2010 – The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) welcomes the decision arising from the meeting of Ministers of Finance to improve access to workplace-based retirement savings programs including expanding participation in multi-employer pension plans.

Group pensions and savings vehicles offered and managed by Canada’s life and health insurance companies play a key role in Canada’s retirement savings system. Adjustments to tax and pension rules would make group pensions less complicated and costly to administer for small businesses and the self-employed, making pensions at the workplace more available to many working Canadians.

“We need to build on the strengths of Canada’s retirement savings system by improving access to workplace-based savings vehicles,” said Frank Swedlove, President, CLHIA. “We are also pleased at the government’s announcement that they will be working towards enhancing the financial literacy of Canadians,” he added.

The Canadian life and health insurance industry administers more than 70 per cent of pension plans. CLHIA members manage more than 45,000 employer pension, group RRSP, and other savings programs serving more than 4.9 million Canadians with more than $105 billion in assets.

About CLHIA

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. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to about 26 million Canadians. www.clhia.ca.