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Editorial: Looking back — and ahead — in an unprecedented year

Once again, the end of year is near. Besides the extraordinary presence of vaccines and the movements in public health restrictions across the country, most Canadians are likely experiencing a significant déjà vu of late 2020. But despite a rather stagnant 2021, this year’s December issue heralds several promising signposts for the year ahead. We […]

At the 2021 Defined Contribution Plan Summit, which was hosted virtually on Oct. 6, delegates heard about several pressing issues facing DC plan sponsors and members, including an ageing demographic, decumulation, education around investment options and required legislative updates. Here’s what you missed: CPP/QPP delay a simple solution to improving retirement readiness Using DC investments […]

Managing and drawing down retirement savings is an “impossible task” with contributing factors including the trend away from workplace pension plans, historically low interest rates and high life expectancies. In the keynote address at Benefits Canada‘s 2021 DC Plan Summit, Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald (pictured), director of financial security research at Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing, […]

While it’s easy to get into the weeds of inflation in the current economic environment, the fundamental question for DC plan sponsors and their members is its impact on a traditional 60/40 multi-asset class investment portfolio. “In normal times, that diversification benefit that we know and love in a multi-asset class portfolio, where stocks do […]

With DC plan members facing significant hurdles in managing their own investment portfolios, what role can alternatives play in alleviating these challenges? In his session at Benefits Canada‘s 2021 DC Plan Summit, Michael Sager (pictured), vice-president of multi-asset and currency management at CIBC Asset Management Inc., set out to answer this question. Liquid alternatives became […]

Low financial literacy and the slow pace of legislative frameworks are among the challenges hindering Canadian DC plans from offering in-plan decumulation options, according to a panel discussion at the event. Speaking during a panel discussion at Benefits Canada‘s 2021 DC Plan Summit, Michael Dodd (pictured, far left), associate vice-president of pensions, treasury and shareholder […]

While Canada’s financial industry has been successful in helping people accumulate savings during their working lives, the decumulation phase is a lot more complicated. One challenge, in particular, facing capital accumulation plan sponsors and members is an ageing population, said Fraser Stark (pictured, right), president of the longevity retirement platform at Purpose Investments Inc., during […]

While target-date funds are highly prevalent in defined contribution pension plans’ investment portfolios, gaining space as the default of choice, areas of improvement exist in terms of educating plan members about the option. During Benefits Canada‘s 2021 DC Plan Summit, Jessica Sclafani (pictured), director and DC strategist in the investment solutions group at MFS Investment Management, […]

Among all the legal issues facing DC plan sponsors and administrators, questions around contribution errors is top of mind. “The industry has been speaking with [the Department of] Finance Canada on the tax side to see what can be done to help support us in fixing these errors,” said Susan Nickerson (pictured, left), a partner […]

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With environmental, social and governance issues becoming more prominent among investors, it’s important to consider what sustainability means for DC plans. Plan sponsors are facing somewhat conflicting objectives, said Christine Girvan, senior managing director and head of Canadian distribution at MFS Investment Management, during a session at Benefits Canada‘s 2020 DC Plan Summit in Montreal […]