Did you know 80 percent of workers will change jobs for a pension plan?

That’s why corporate pension plans are a critical, strategic compensation tool many enterprise-level businesses use to attract and retain top-level talent.

Corporate pension plans provide long-term financial security and make the organizations that offer them an attractive place to work. However, single-employer pension plans can involve a lot of administrative workload and risk, even for former employees who have left your organization.

Blue Pier’s Pension Plan as a Service works as a full stack, stand-alone enterprise pension solution. It can dovetail with your current corporate pension plan, as an alternative or supplementary option that reduces workload for your current employees who may prefer not to choose investments. For terminating or retiring employees, Blue Pier™ enables you to offer “decumulation” options without the fiduciary responsibility and work.

Less work, cost and risk for you, better value for your current and former employees: that’s the Blue Pier™ advantage.

Blue Pier™ offers solutions to the three main problems of traditional Capital Accumulation Plans:

1- Blue Pier's Corporate Pension Plan is easier for members

Today, most company pension plans are Capital Accumulation Plans (CAPs) which require plan members (your employees) to select their own investments from a list of funds pre-selected by the CAP sponsor (i.e. you). Unfortunately, most members don’t often know enough to make an educated decision. Many don’t engage with the investment selection process and often make poor decisions when they do.

With Blue Pier™ , funds are managed by our Board of Trustees, working in close collaboration with RBC Global Asset Management. This means your employees are not left to choose their own investments – we do it for them in the same way other large institutional pension funds do.

Some employees may want to select investments, others will not. For little or no additional cost, businesses can offer Blue Pier™ as an option to employees who would prefer to switch to a corporate pension plan that does investment management for them.

2- Blue Pier's Company Pension Plan is easier for administrators

Whether it’s due to retirement or moving on to a new opportunity, all employees eventually leave.

When employment ends for a member of an employer-sponsored CAP, they usually have to transfer their money out to a high-fee personal plan like an RRSP or RRIF and get financial advice as to how to convert their savings into a retirement income. This process can be challenging and stressful for many individuals. Increasingly, employers are feeling pressure to offer departing employees a ‘decumulation’ option that would allow plan members to stay on after employment termination and receive retirement income directly rather than being required to transfer their money out. Unfortunately, offering decumulation options in a single-employer corporate pension plan creates a significant amount of additional work and cost for the sponsoring employer, as well as a substantial increase in legal and fiduciary risk.

Blue Pier™ provides a solution, a way for large enterprises to offer a decumulation option to departing employees without increasing their work, costs and risk. Rather than transfer their retirement funds to a personal plan, terminating/retiring employees could transfer their funds into Blue Pier™ to benefit from low fees, institutional asset management, and the opportunity to receive retirement income for life from a real pension plan.

3 – With the Blue Pier™ Corporate Pension Plan, you don’t need to keep track of former employees

When employees terminate, you cannot force them to move their funds out of your company pension plan. As a result, it often happens that some don’t, leaving you to manage their CAP assets and trying to keep track of them for years – and even decades. This can be tedious and costly, and it creates risk for CAP sponsors who must search for missing members and manage records and funds for people who are no longer on the payroll and have no continuing relationship with the enterprise.

To manage this problem, large and enterprise-level businesses that use Blue Pier™ as a supplement to their current corporate pension plan have the option of transferring assets of former employees to the Blue Pier™ corporate pension plan, thus eliminating the work and costs associated with tracking down former plan members to communicate with them about their investments and convince them to transfer their funds out.

Corporate pension plans for large and enterprise-level businesses

When selecting a company pension provider for your employees, features matter. These are the ones you want:

Quick signup
and withdrawal
No payroll taxes
on contributions
Institutional asset
Low member
No cross-subsidization risk
among members/employers
Multiple retirement
alongside CAPs
employee offboarding

Blue Pier™ Corporate Pension Plan – value for your enterprise:

  • Now you can offer decumulation options to employees when they leave the organization.
  • No more tracking down former employees who have left assets in your CAP. Delegating pension management to experts lets you focus on what matters – your business.
  • Flexibility. A workplace pension solution should fit your business needs and budget, both now and in the future.
  • With some plans, contributing to your employees’ retirement drives up your payroll taxes. That doesn’t happen with Blue Pier™.
  • Professional, institutional asset management costs less. It can also deliver better outcomes than retail funds.
  • Most other group retirement plans get employees involved with investment management. This costs you money and creates work, stress, and poor outcomes.
  • For some people, taking a lifetime pension is a good option. Others may need something different. A pension plan should accommodate everyone’s needs.
  • A pension plan should work for all your employees, no matter where in Canada they work.
  • Real pension plans provide robust creditor protection so your employees have the best chance of having a financially secure retirement.

Choosing a Corporate Pension Provider for Your Large or Enterprise-Level Business

When choosing a Corporate Pension Plan provider, there are some questions you’ll want to ask:

In a pension plan for large or enterprise-level businesses, who manages the money?

A small change in a mortgage interest rate has a big impact on the monthly payment. Pensions work the same way, so it’s important to get money management right. Over a career, a one percent difference in net investment returns – or fees – translates to a 20 percent difference in pension income.

Most company pension plans require members educate themselves about investing and select investments from funds provided by the plan sponsor, but most employees don’t like managing money and they don’t engage with the process. Working with Canada’s largest and most-successful asset manager under supervision of an expert Board of Trustees, Blue Pier™ does the work of asset management for your employees. That saves time and money, and reduces stress, for you and your employees.

What are the start-up and ongoing administration costs of adding Blue Pier™ as a supplementary plan for my large and enterprise-level business?

The hard and soft costs of operating a single-employer corporate pension plan can add up quickly.
Fund management fees for many company pension plans cost up to 2 percent of plan assets annually and include trailer fees. Typically charged to employees, these fees reduce the value of your total compensation offering. As well, your enterprise may pay additional fees for consulting services and regulatory filing charges. You’ll also incur internal costs for plan management, regulatory reporting and employee communications. Employees may even have to take time off work to attend educational sessions on investments.

With Blue Pier™, there’s a low annual fee on assets under administration and reasonable fixed fees for employee events like termination or retirement. And that’s it.

Best of all, fees can be tax-deductible and there are no trailer fees.

Get in touch with us for more information.

How long does it take to set up a blue pier™ pension plan for large and enterprise-level businesses?

For plans that must be registered individually with pension regulators, it can take several months before a registration number is obtained.

With Blue Pier™ you can be up and running in 6 to 10 weeks.

Who’s responsible for pension plan administration? How much work will I have to do?

With traditional, single-employer group retirement plans, the plan administrator is responsible for ensuring all the annually-recurring plan management tasks are completed. Regulatory fines and penalties can be imposed if the tasks are not done correctly and on time. With little or no expertise with group retirement plans, most employers rely on consultants who are paid by the employer or from trailer fees charged to plan members’ accounts.

With Blue Pier™ , pension management is our responsibility. All you need to do is keep us informed about staff changes, make contributions, and report Pension Adjustments. Get in touch with us to find out more.

Who is the plan sponsor?

Your enterprise is the plan sponsor. You determine who participates in the plan and the contribution rates, distribute enrolment forms and inform us about member events like termination of employment, retirement, etc.

Blue Pier™ does all the other work for you – asset management, custody, recordkeeping, regulatory compliance, plan administration, etc.

Who are the plan members?

The plan members are your employees.

Will contributions made by my enterprise or my employees be used for someone else’s pension?

This question often arises with defined-benefit (DB) pension plans. In a DB plan, all the plan’s assets, liabilities, and risks are pooled among all the active, inactive, and retired members of the plan. If the plan is a multi-employer DB pension plan (DB MEPP), pooling risks extend to ALL participating employers and members. Practically, this means that cross-subsidization among unrelated employers and members will inevitably happen. “Cross-subsidization” means that some of the contributions made by your enterprise and your employees may well end up paying for the pensions of other members working for employers you don’t even know.

With Blue Pier™ this doesn’t happen. Your pension money is always yours.

Is the pension portable? Can my employees transfer their pension funds out tax-free?

Most DB plans don’t allow transfers for members within 10 years of the plan’s normal retirement date, which is usually age 65. Even where transfers are allowed, there’s a limit on the amount you can transfer from a DB plan to another registered plan like a DC plan, an RRSP, or RRIF. Anything over the CRA-prescribed transfer limit will be taxed immediately as income.

With Blue Pier™ you don’t have to worry. Transfers to other registered plans are always tax-free.

Are my employees’ retirement funds “locked in”?

In most provinces, pension legislation requires that pension funds arising from employer contributions and matched member contributions are to be used to provide pension income. In other words, they cannot be withdrawn in cash or transferred to regular RRSP. With a Defined-Benefit Pension Plan (DB), you must receive benefits in the form of a lifetime pension income.

With Blue Pier™ you have some flexibility to decide how much of employees’ pension money is locked in.

What if my enterprise needs change? Can I terminate or withdraw from the plan?

This is an important consideration when choosing a pension solution for your enterprise. Some plans require a minimum participation period – e.g. five or 10 years – when you sign up. Other plans may be difficult to wind up, especially if some members don’t make a choice as to what to do with their pension funds and can’t be located, which often happens after members terminate employment.

Here at Blue Pier™ we understand your need to be careful about long-term financial commitments. We’d like you and your employees to stay with us for life, but you don’t have to.

To terminate participation, just give us 90 days’ notice.

What are my employees’ options when they retire?

It depends on the type of plan. With a DB plan, the only option is a pension payable for life. With a single-employer Group RRSP, DC plan, or DPSP, employees will have to transfer their funds to a personal plan or buy an annuity from an insurance company upon retirement.

Blue Pier’s™ company pension plan gives your employees more choices, including in-plan decumulation. Employees can continue membership after retirement and receive retirement income directly from Blue Pier™. This value-added feature is available to all employers at no extra cost and represents a considerable benefit for employees.

What happens if an employee moves on and leaves their assets behind?

If you have just a single-employer plan, you will have to keep track of the former employee to communicate with them about their pension.

Blue Pier™ takes care of your former employees and their assets. You won’t have to keep track because Blue Pier™ will do it for you.

Will the plan increase payroll taxes for my business or its employees?

Payroll taxes are important to consider when choosing a company pension plan. These taxes are based on the amount of employment income paid to employees, individually or collectively. Payroll taxes include Canada Pension Plan or the Quebec Pension Plan contributions, Employment Insurance and workplace safety premiums, employer health taxes, post-secondary education taxes, etc. With some group plans, employer contributions increase the amount of income based on the payroll taxes determined. This, in turn, can increase both the total amount of payroll taxes for your business and the payroll taxes your employees have to pay.

With Blue Pier™ , contributions are tax-deductible and never increase payroll taxes for a business or for its employees.

Can the plan be customized for my large and enterprise-level business?

Business owners need the flexibility to design a company pension plan that achieves the objectives of the business and its employees. Some of these objectives could be to improve employee morale, support staff recruitment and retention, or improve the tax effectiveness of total compensation.

Some plans have limited design flexibility. They may require both the employees and employer to make equal contributions, which can be a financial challenge for lower-income employees. Ideally, a corporate pension plan enables a variety of options that can include mandatory contributions, matched contributions, voluntary contributions, service-based contributions, results-based contributions as well as different contribution structures for different employee classes.

With Blue Pier™ , your plan is designed to fit your budget. You can choose whether employees have to contribute and the minimum employer contribution is just one percent of pensionable salary or wages for eligible employees. You can have different plans for different employee classes and even an “executive plan” for management and salaried employees.

The Blue Pier™ Advantage – Simply, Better Performance

Time is money. You know it and we know it. Of course, you want to offer the best company pension plan for employees, but that plan must be simple to manage, and ideally, it shouldn’t require your employees to choose their own investments.

  • You need a customizable, high-performing plan designed around your business needs, a plan you can trust and that doesn’t tie you down with risky commitments
  • You need a plan that reduces your workload, rather than adding to it
  • Your employees need a plan they don’t need to worry about, one that gives them confidence and peace of mind
  • Employees need a plan that helps them save for retirement without forcing them to choose their own investments, need a plan they can keep for as long as they want and that’s flexible when they choose to move on

If your large or enterprise-level business needs a new corporate pension plan or a secondary plan to supplement your current CAP, you need Blue Pier™ . Flexible, low-cost, low-touch, and gimmick-free, Blue Pier™ is a real workplace pension plan that simply gets the job done right.

  Blue Pierᵀᴹ Single-Employer
DC Plan
Avoids payroll taxes on employer contributions
Low member/employer workload
Institutional asset management
Long-term commitment No Depends No Depends Yes

The Blue Pier™ Advantage – Fast Sign Up

 In 10 weeks or less, your large or enterprise-level business can have its fully-customized workplace pension program up and running. Here’s how it works:

  • Week 0 – 1: Virtual meeting with Blue Pier™ to capture your desired pension plan features.
  • Week 1 – 3: Review and execute sign-up documents.
  • Week 3 – 7: Employee enrolment begins. Online accounts are established.
  • Week 8 – 10: Contributions and pension accrual begin.

Secure Your Future with Blue Pier™

No one’s retirement should be left to chance–not yours, and not your employees. Book a free consultation or get in touch with Blue Pier™ today to start creating your customized pension solution. Experience the peace of mind that comes with a low-risk pension plan designed exclusively for enterprises like yours.

Important Note: The information provided here should not be considered or used as personalized or other financial advice. Always do your own research. For personal financial planning, Blue Pier™ recommends seeking independent financial advice from a licensed, fee-only financial planner.

Blue Pier™ is a registered trademark. The Blue Pier™ Retirement Plan is a pension plan registered under the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) and the Income Tax Act (Canada).