TORONTO, Oct. 20 2010 – The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) welcomes the recommendation in the report, Canadians Saving for their Future: A Secure Retirement, released by the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce that multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) should be encouraged. This recommendation reflects positions advocated by the industry since the government launched its consultations around saving for retirement.
“There seems to be a Canadian consensus building around the opportunities that MEPPs provide for Canadians to save more effectively in the workplace,” notes Frank Swedlove, CLHIA President. Federal and provincial Ministers of Finance agreed to explore the Defined Contribution MEPP concept following their June meeting in Prince Edward Island and the recent announcement by Ontario Finance Minister Duncan points to continued support.
The life and health insurance industry also welcomes a number of other proposals in the report including amendments to the Income Tax Act to permit contributions to RRSPs until age 75 and to allow for a $100,000 lifetime contribution to a Tax-Free Savings Account. The industry would suggest that the latter proposal could be usefully applied to RRSPs as well. The proposal that governments work with stakeholder groups to develop financial education materials on saving for retirement is also supported by the industry.
The Canadian life and health insurance industry administers more than 70 per cent of pension plans in Canada. 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.
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.