Quebec’s National Assembly has passed Bill 39, which creates voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSPs) in the province.

VRSPs will give two million workers access to a simple and inexpensive vehicle allowing them to save for their retirement, says Minister of Labour Agnès Maltais.

The implementation of VRSPs mainly affects small- and medium-sized employers as the new law forces employers with five or more employees without a workplace savings plan to offer such a plan to those with one year of continuous service.

The new law comes into force on July 1, 2014, but the deadline for introducing the VRSP depends on the size of the company.

Employers with 20 or more employees will have to offer a VRSP by Dec. 31, 2016. Firms with 10 to 19 employees have until Dec. 31, 2017 and the deadline for those with five to nine employees cannot be earlier than Jan. 1, 2018.

“VRSPs will have a profound effect on the retirement savings of Quebecers by giving almost all workers easy access to a low-cost workplace retirement plan,” says Frank Swedlove, president of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Quebec joins Ottawa, Alberta and Saskatchewan in passing pooled registered pension plan legislation.

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