Standard Life is now approved to offer Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans (VRSP) in Quebec. On July 10th, the insurer announced that it had obtained all the necessary approvals from the provincial government to provide the plans.
When the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan Act came into force in Quebec on July 1st, it became obligatory for employers to set up and enroll their eligible employees in VRSPs unless they already offer them a Group RRSP or Group TFSA for which payroll deductions may be made, or if they offer a registered pension plan for which the employer is party. Standard Life notes that almost 1.9 million Quebec workers (47%) do not participate in any type of group retirement plan, and says the VRSP is targeted to these workers.
The program is being phased in gradually. Companies with at least 20 eligible employees are required to establish a VRSP by June 30, 2016, while those with 10 to 19 eligible employees must act by June 30, 2017. At some time after January 1, 2018 (the precise date has yet to be determined), companies will have to set up VRSPs if they have 5 to 9 eligible employees.
"We have developed a simple VRSP solution that is easy to set up and manage for Québec employers and advisors — it only takes about 15 minutes to join online," said Philippe Toupin, vice president of group solutions, at Standard Life. "We believe the plan's compulsory membership for companies and freedom of choice for employees will make this new retirement savings vehicle successful in helping to ensure a retirement income for many more Quebec workers."