Thank you for joining us for another great year at our complimentary WP Pensions + Benefits Fall Roadshow in both Sudbury and Burlington this November. We enjoyed seeing everyone who attended in person and want to make sure those who couldn’t make it get an overview of the day’s events. Here’s a recap of the information and updates we shared.
Congratulations to Catherine Brown from Mamaweswen, The North Shore Tribal Council who attended our Roadshow in Sudbury on November 9th, and to Andriana Gulapa of Six Nations Polytechnic who attended our Roadshow in Burlington on November 23rd. Catherine and Andriana were the lucky winners of Amazon Fire tablets!
People Corporation’s National Indigenous Practice (NIP)
In 2021, People Corporation (PC) purchased majority ownership of WP Pensions + Benefits. This has guided us to scale our work in First Nation communities and with Indigenous employers, extending our scope beyond pension and benefits. PC also purchased two other firms working in this area.
As result, there are three PC firms nationally, representing more than 400 First Nations/Indigenous employers across Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Over time, we’ll determine how we’re going to evolve and how you’ll benefit as result of our aggregated scale. Together we’re building a community to represent Indigenous employers across Canada.
In line with our efforts to continually improve, we’re exploring and developing several initiatives. These include the potential for a ‘financial planning’ service, more customization for pension annual reports, and pension decumulation options. As well, we’re aiming to offer more Homewood Health initiatives to support your employees’ overall wellbeing.
In partnership with our sister PC organization, Life Benefit Solutions (LBS), we hope to offer quarterly webinars on timely and trending topics. These could include anything from investment basics to retirement processes. Please share what you’d like to learn more about and we’ll aim to include it.
This fall, we introduced our WP Book+ Club. Each month, we share interesting books, articles, podcasts, and videos that promote both personal and organizational empowerment and wellness. Balancing the head and heart, we aim to bring you resources that are helpful to you and your team. If you come across a book or media piece that you feel will be beneficial to this group, let us know and we’ll share it.
Continuing our work with Dr. Karyn Gordon, WP members have the opportunity to work with her through her Success Intelligence program, exploring various topics at a preferred rate. From developing managers and leaders to exploring diversity, inclusion and psychological safety, Dr. Karyn will coach you and your team on emotional intelligence skills for organizations and families.
In addition to our long-standing support of the Little Native Hockey League (LNHL), this year WP became a proud sponsor of the Indigenous Hockey Equipment Drive. Through our partnership with Their Opportunity, we’re excited to join drives, sourcing and distributing hockey equipment to Indigenous athletic camps and communities. This fall, the team sent 17 skids of gear to 300 kids in the Northwest Territories.
As planners and educators, we aim to keep you informed of changing trends and their effects on your savings and retirement. These include planning choices and potential trade-offs. According to the Financial Post, in 2023 43% of working Canadians say they are worried they won’t have enough money to enjoy retirement, their biggest fear about retirement. A growing number (38%, up from 25% in 2021) now say achieving retirement security will take a miracle.
Rising interest rates, personal and public (government) debt are all major concerns. And as day-to-day expenses have increased with inflation, retirement savings have gone down in both amounts and priority.
While concerns and priorities vary across demographics, WP is here to help you navigate them. For employers, we’ll help you consider and join pension funds, including government and private allocation. With your employees, we’ll help them envision their retirement, run the numbers, and decide on a plan and timeline. And when the time comes, we’ll help you shift from accumulation to decumulation.
For pension plan administrators, book time with us to review your responsibilities and how we're here to support you. These include member administration, engagement, and fiduciary duties.
Re-looking at Guaranteed Interest Accounts
Inflation is having an impact on everyday lives, but higher interest rates can also have a silver lining. Money that you invest in guaranteed interest-bearing investments now offer a higher interest rate. Nobody’s really talked about GIAs for the last decade or so, but perhaps their time is returning. Understanding your personal risk tolerance and time to retirement are important to consider, finding the right balance in your investment portfolio.
CPP Updates + Enhancements
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) has undergone significant enhancements since 2019 and they will be fully phased in by 2025. These enhancements aim to address the risk of projected retirement income shortfalls for many Canadians and will come from increased contribution rates. Reach out to us to learn more about how these CPP enhancements and contributions tie into your organization’s registered pension plan (RPP), and particular considerations for Indigenous employers, their tax-exempt and taxable employees.
When it comes to supporting Indigenous employers and First Nation communities, we are here to walk with you through various aspects of the tax code and its relation to pensions and “Status and Non-Status Indians.” During the roadshow, we reviewed tax-exempt employment income and employment-related income, tax benefits and credits for Indigenous peoples, tax slips and technical interpretation, tax assessment and re-assessments, and WP’s dispute resolution approach. This is a detailed area of our expertise – don’t hesitate to reach out.
After establishing a pension plan, member engagement is a pillar of success. Consider choosing a “pension ambassador” who will understand your plan and resources, coordinate consultations, and attend industry update sessions. From new employee onboarding, and plan review consultations for employees continuing their journey, to helping employees approaching retirement understand their options, we’ll work with you to keep your team engaged. Schedule your yearly meetings, including 1:1 personal consultations with WP team members, for the year ahead.
And that’s a wrap! If you need further information on any of the Roadshow topics covered, please contact us. We’re here to help!