Canadian Treasurer

June 26, 2014

‘Guided Outcomes’ helps employees feel good about retirement savings

Toronto, ON – A growing number of Canadian defined contribution (DC) pension plan sponsors are facing the same serious problem – their members aren't saving enough for retirement. This can result in employees who are unable to retire on time, causing workforce planning issues and additional benefit and productivity costs for employers. Research tells us that most employees don't know how much they should be saving − but that they'd likely save more if they knew.

Guided Outcomes (GO), an innovative DC plan management solution from Eckler Ltd. gives employers what they need to help their employees set − and achieve − a realistic target retirement income. The company is introducing GO to the Canadian market following its successful UK launch by Hymans Robertson, one of Eckler's Abelica Global partner firms.

"GO is currently being used by DC plans in the UK that hold over £2 billion of pension savings and represent more than 300,000 members," says Jill Wagman, Eckler's managing principal. "It has a proven track record with plan sponsors in that market, and we're excited to be able to bring it to Canada. We have every confidence that GO is going to be a game-changer for Canadian DC plans."

While there are other DC plan management tools on the market, GO is set apart by its sophisticated analytics, which allow for a unique target to be set for each employee without any employee input. It also helps employees stick to their personalized target by offering three levels of engagement – do it for me; help me do it; and let me do it. For employers, GO provides the ability to model plan design changes in real time, using aggregated member data. It also offers a user-friendly way to analyze their plans and identify trends − contributing to an enhanced understanding of any workforce planning challenges on the horizon.

"The perception continues that DC plans provide inadequate incomes in retirement and represent poor value for money. That is false − it is more a case that DC plans have largely been wielded as a blunt tool to date," says Rob Harper, a partner at Hymans Robertson. "GO allows an employee to set a target income requirement and then actively supports them along the flight path in accumulating their retirement savings."

Sponsors who incorporate GO into their plan governance will also be better equipped to – improve workforce planning by helping employees retire when they want to, allowing the next generation of talent to succeed; and comply with all CAPSA guidelines, fulfilling their legal fiduciary obligations as plan sponsors, and manage their organization's reputational risk by setting employees' expectations for what the DC plan can provide in retirement.




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