Canadian Life and Health Insurers Welcomes Quebec’s “Pooled” Pension Plans

MONTREAL, March 21, 2012 – The Canadian life and health insurance industry applauds the Quebec government’s leadership in committing in its 2012-2013 budget announcement to proceed with the introduction of Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans (VRSPs).

“While still reviewing the details, the life insurance industry believes governments need to move quickly to assist Canadians in planning and saving for their retirement. We strongly encourage the other provinces to follow Quebec’s excellent example,” said Frank Swedlove, President of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

The VRSP is a simple, low cost, workplace pension plan targeted at small and medium size businesses and managed by financial institutions. “VRSPs fit within the federal framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans,” added Mr. Swedlove. “Consistency in regulations for PRPPs among provinces will be a key factor in ensuring the plans meet their low-cost objectives and are portable for Canadian workers. The industry urges all governments to adopt — and harmonize — legislation.”

A Leger Marketing poll of small and medium sized employers (SMEs) conducted on behalf of the CLHIA in December 2011 showed that 71 per cent agree that employers should be required to offer some form of retirement plan to their employees. Further, 73 per cent of SME executives interested in providing PRPPs to their employees said they will “look at ways their business could contribute to the plan over and above what the employee puts into it.”


The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides a wide range of financial security products, including life insurance, annuities and supplementary health insurance, to about 26 million Canadians. The industry administers more than two-thirds of pension plans for Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses and the vast majority of group RRSPs. 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.