If you’ve downloaded our guide on choosing a group retirement plan, you already know more than most Canadian employers. Hats off to you! You are doing your homework and are well on your way to choosing a plan you and your employees can trust. 

An important step in choosing a plan is to get your colleagues on board. Depending on the organization, this can include the board of directors, the executive team, finance, your employees, or some combination of these. 

Here are some tips for securing buy-in: 

  • Make a business case. This is especially important for boards, executive teams, and finance departments. Include the costs (external and internal) and benefits (attraction, retention, reduced stress, productivity) of the program. Compare offering a retirement program to other forms of compensation, including salary increases or other kinds of benefits. Include data about what peers in your industry are doing, and how offering a program can help you be an employer of choice, attracting and retaining the best talent and differentiating yourself from the competition. 
  • Show you understand the market. Especially if this is the first time you’ve offered a retirement plan, boards and executives will want to know that you’ve done your homework. You understand the landscape, the providers, the plan design options, and you’ve landed on a solution that will work best for your organization and your employees. 
  • Consider the cost of not providing a plan. When an employer chooses not to offer a retirement plan, employees are left on their own to save for retirement. The outcome of this approach is typically not good. For example, the median savings of Canadian households age 55-64 without pensions is a mere $3,000. While the cost of providing a plan may seem large, especially for a smaller organization, the cost for employee financial health and productivity of not providing a plan can often be much higher. 

Don’t worry: you don’t have to do all of this yourself. Most providers, including Common Wealth, have invested in research and tools (including our guide!) to help employers articulate the value of a good retirement plan. Don’t be afraid to ask your provider or advisor for help in filling in your business case, understanding what has worked with other employers, and supporting you as you navigate the internal decision-making of your organization. 

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