From the October 2015 issue

In response to “Supplemental CPP unnecessary: IIAC” (Aug. 31, 2015)

Of course private insurance does not want to see the [CPP] enriched in any way! They are quite prepared to throw anyone under the bus who can’t afford the private premiums!”

— John Clark

In response to “How to support new immigrants at work” (Aug. 20, 2015)

This article brought back so many memories of the isolation, vulnerability and disempowerment I felt when I worked in Canada. After the stresses of moving there and trying to get our lives back on track, I ended up being a single mother with two small children and absolutely no support system. I started underperforming at work and, after a number of hearings, I was finally dismissed. My employer never enquired whether I needed help or offered suggestions as to where I could seek help.”

— Janine

In response to “Canada officially in a recession” (Sept. 1, 2015)

Thank you, Mr. Harper! You are a master of the economy!”

— Cjasz

In response to “Small businesses have difficulty finding high-quality employees” (Sept. 2, 2015)

If they’re complaining about both quality of candidates and wage expectations, I think they’ve answered their own question—they’re not prepared to pay for quality, so they’re not getting it.”

— Grizz

In response to “Opinions divided over DC plan exemption from ORPP” (Aug. 12, 2015)

I think the ‘comparable DC plan’ is going to wake people up to the fact that DC plans are roughly twice as expensive as DB plans to deliver the same level of retirement income. [Kathleen] Wynne may be doing employers a favour by providing a lower cost alternative to their existing high-cost DC arrangements.”

— Randy Bauslaugh

From the May 2015 issue

In response to “4 ways to make the ORPP work” (Mar. 5 , 2015)

“If we are going to have an ORPP [Ontario Retirement Pension Plan], then the definition of comparable plan needs to be the focus.

Under the discussion paper’s current recommendations, the only plans that are exempt are DB pensions and target benefit plans. Therefore, the biggest “exemption” will be for participants in public sector DB plans, as the private sector primarily offers DC/money purchase-type plans. My biggest fear is that plan sponsors and members may simply reduce their contributions to the DC/money purchase plans to allow for the new ORPP payroll tax. In the worst-case scenario, plan sponsors abort their workplace plans altogether to the detriment of the plan member.

Did the ORPP really accomplish its goal in these scenarios? Perhaps a better solution is to offer an incentive to plan sponsors for initiatives relating to increasing employee engagement and financial literacy.”

— Richard Pieprzak

From the April 2015 issue

In response to “Why I don’t save for retirement” (Feb. 1 , 2015)

“I think you’re crazy for not saving for retirement. I’m 23 and still live at home; although I pay for rent, I know it’s not as much as you must pay. I don’t have student debt like you, but that’s because I sacrificed most of my free time and worked two to three part-time jobs during university. I do have a mortgage loan, though, since I bought a house recently. But it’s to rent it and get my tenants to pay for the mortgage.

I don’t have a DB plan, but I have a DC plan that I contribute to, since my employer matches 50% of what I put in. If I didn’t contribute, I [would] feel like I’m losing out on free money. Since the contribution comes off before I get my pay, it feels like I never had that money to begin with. So I don’t think it affects employees as much as they think it will.”

— Lily Trieu

“I found your short piece on retirement saving more than just refreshing. It reveals a simple truth: employers do not know what is best for employees. Employees do, and employers should listen.

My current actuarial analysis of benefits programs’ design and delivery shows a deeply flawed structure. There has been a complete failure to respond to fast-changing demographics, taxation, employee expectations and systems technology.

Not only do employers sponsor programs that are a net negative hygiene factor in HR terms, but also, their funding mechanisms are fiscally deficient.”

— David H. Hart

From the March 2015 issue

“[…] Smart beta lacks a strict definition. […] Given the lack of standardization, one person’s smart beta strategy could well be viewed as dumb beta by someone else. At the end of the day, it comes down to objectives. […] If one claims to have superior insights into passive asset management methods that will have the effect of reducing volatility relative to benchmarks, state it as such, and in precise terms. Catch-alls that obscure or distort the language of asset management do not serve the interests of fiduciaries […] or members.”

— Chas, in response to “Investment trends: How smart beta can help with de-risking” (Jan. 15, 2015)

“[…] [In Canada], the government and the providers have continued to download [healthcare] costs to employers and individuals. A closer look at the benefits provided and the cost [in Canada] would show the U.S. system as good or better in most aspects, and the overall cost is not much different.”

— roto, in response to “A holistic approach to healthcare” (Dec. 30, 2014)

From the February 2015 issue

“I remember a conversation I had with the president of the Canadian [subsidiary] of a prominent U.S. multinational that had converted to DC. This company was a client. It went like this: ‘We had a going-away party for one of our retirees last week, and when it came time for speech making, he tore a strip off me about the low pension he just recently found out he would be receiving. How did we get ourselves into this mess?’ ”

Charles Spina, in response to “De-risking DC plans” (Dec. 23, 2014)

“ Canadians should know that genetic discrimination is a reality in Canada, and Canada is the only G7 country that does not protect genetic information. Where Ms. Siddall’s article states that genetic information is protected, our laws are outdated and unclear. Insurers and employers can ask for genetic test information and use the results of a genetic test to deny insurance or employment.”

Bev Heim-Myers, in response to “Genetic testing: The next employee benefit?” (Dec. 17, 2014)

“ Of course the [early pension] payout packages [in the British Columbia Lottery Corp.] were extravagant beyond anything done in the private sector for similar workers. This is typical for all government agencies at all levels. Government waste of our tax dollars is obscene, yet the NDP and Liberals want bigger government, which always causes more wasted tax dollars.”

— Robert in Vancouver in response to “BCLC criticized for retirement payouts” (Dec. 19, 2014)