Great-West Life launches new simplified group retirement and savings plan for smaller businesses to help Canadians save for retirement

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LONDON, ON, Jan. 13, 2011 – The Great-West Life Assurance Company today launched a simplified group retirement and savings plan designed for businesses with fewer than 35 employees, who want to offer their employees a convenient way to save for retirement.

“Many small business owners recognize the value that employees place on a workplace group benefits plan, including a retirement and savings plan, yet hesitate to offer such a plan due to the perceived cost and administrative complexity,” says Jeff Aarssen, Great-West Life’s Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sales & Marketing. “Great-West Life’s Performers offers smaller businesses a group retirement savings plan solution that addresses these concerns.”

Many small businesses want access to the same services offered to larger plan sponsors at a competitive cost but may not have the human resources infrastructure in place to set up and administer their own pension plans. Over the last two years, the group retirement services market has responded with a number of simplified group retirement and savings plans. Performers, the newest addition to the market, allows smaller employers to offer their employees an easy way to save, with strong investment options, convenient online services and a member communications program.

“Great-West Life’s Performers plans were developed based on our leading experience in the small group retirement plan market,” Aarssen says. “We have evolved the product over the past year to ensure plan set up and administration is an easy, straightforward process,” Aarssen says. “The fees are affordable and turnkey administrative support from advisors and Great-West Life helps ensure compliance with capital accumulation plan guidelines. Performers provides smaller employers with access to the expertise of the largest administrator of group retirement and savings plans for small businesses in Canada.”

Employees also recognize the value of a group retirement savings plan. An Environics Research Group survey* found that 89 per cent of Canadians want workplace savings programs made available to all workers. Fifty-six per cent of those not in plans are interested in joining one, with younger workers particularly keen, and 41 per cent would consider changing jobs for an employer that offered one.

“Companies that offer a workplace group retirement plan have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining employees,” Aarssen says. “Performers can help smaller businesses attract, retain and motivate valuable employees.”

About Great-West Life

Great-West Life administers over 17,000 group retirement plans and over 1.2 million member accounts, representing nearly 30 per cent of capital accumulation plans (CAPs) in Canada.** In the United States, Great-West is the fourth-largest group retirement plan record keeper based on total participants and Putnam Investments adds to the organization’s North American presence in this market.