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PRPP resources

Information and tools you’ll need when setting up your PRPP:

PRPP plan text – Outines the provisions and terms of the plan registered with the regulatory authorities.

PRPP policy – In addition to the provision of the plan, it outlines the method for paying contributions, the frequency at which participants may change their rate, the contribution that the employer agrees to pay into the plan, the consequence of the employer’s failure to pay employee contributions in time, and the payment of annuity benefits and withdrawals.

Investment options and investment management fees – outlines the investment management fees associated with the investment options for the Great-West Life PRPP.

We’re here to make your job easier. Use these resources to better understand how group retirement and savings plans work for you and your employees.

Find out why workplace retirement savings plans are important:

The strength of capital accumulation plans in Canada’s retirement market (PDF)

Retirement savings plan options:

Comparing retirement savings plans table (PDF)

Glossary

  • Asset allocation funds
    Asset allocation funds
    funds that provide diversification within a single fund by combining investments in different asset classes (stocks, bonds and money market instruments) and investment styles to match either the target level of risk or the target retirement date. Asset allocation funds are regularly monitored and rebalanced by investment professionals to meet intended investment objectives.
  • Asset class
    Asset class
    a group of securities or investments that tend to react similarly in different market conditions, and are subject to the same laws and regulations. There are three main asset classes: equities (stocks), fixed-income (bonds) and cash equivalents (money market instruments). The Great-West Life PRPP investment options are made up of different asset classes.
  • Automatic enrolment
    Automatic enrolment
    employees meeting the eligibility requirements automatically become members of the plan
  • Capital accumulation plan
    Capital accumulation plan (CAP)
    a tax-assisted investment or savings plan that permits its members to make investment decisions among two or more options offered within the plan. A CAP may be established by an employer, trade union or association for the benefit of its employees or members.
  • Contribution
    Contribution
    an amount paid into a retirement savings plan by an employer or employee.
  • Default fund/Default investment option term
    Default fund/Default investment option term
    A pre-selected investment option used when a member doesn’t provide investment instructions. The Great-West Life PRPP default investment options are the Harmonized Target Date Funds.
  • Defined benefit pension plan (DB)
    Defined benefit pension plan (DB)
    A retirement plan that provides a guaranteed benefit amount at retirement.
  • Defined contribution pension plan (DC)
    Defined contribution pension plan (DC)
    A retirement plan where employer and/or employee contributions are fixed and the income a member will receive is based on the total amount accumulated.
  • Diversification
    Diversification
    Selection of investments with different asset classes, investment styles and investment managers
  • Investment management fees (IMFs)
    Investment management fees (IMFs)
    The cost of managing investment options and administering the plan. IMFs are deducted daily from the fund through the net unit value calculation.
  • Investment personality questionnaire (IPQ)
    Investment personality questionnaire (IPQ)
    A scientifically-designed investment selection tool that helps plan members determine their risk tolerance and select investment options that best suit their retirement and savings goals.
  • Lifecycle/target date funds
    Lifecycle/target date funds
    Lifecycle funds, also known as target date funds, are a type of asset allocation fund which provides diversification within a single fund. Members choose one target date fund based on their desired retirement date. This fund automatically places an emphasis on growth in early years and gradually becomes more conservative as the member approaches his or her target retirement date.
  • Locked in
    Locked in
    assets that can’t be withdrawn until retirement
  • Plan administrator
    Plan administrator
    a qualified financial institution that’s responsible for the management and operation of a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP)
  • Plan member/member
    Plan member/member
    an individual who’s enrolled in the plan
  • Plan provisions
    Plan provisions
    the terms and conditions of a retirement savings plan
  • Pooled registered pension plan (PRPP)
    Pooled registered pension plan (PRPP)
    A savings plan, administered in accordance with rules created by the federal government, which provides a way for employees to save for retirement.
  • Risk tolerance
    Risk tolerance
    the degree of change in investment returns that a plan member is willing to accept. Employees can assess their degree of risk tolerance by taking our Investment personality questionnaire.
  • Vested
    Vested
    the point in time when the employer’s contributions belong to the employee

Frequently asked questions

The answers are based on Bill C-25 and only apply to businesses and industries that fall under federal jurisdiction or are located in Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Provincial PRPP legislation may vary.

  • What are PRPPs?
    What are PRPPs?
    Pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) are defined contribution group pension plans available to businesses and industries that fall under federal jurisdiction or are located in Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories. A complete list of industries that fall under federal jurisdiction can be found here: http://www.labour.gc.ca/eng/regulated.shtml.
  • Do employers have to offer a PRPP?
    Do employers have to offer a PRPP?
    No, employers aren’t obligated to offer a PRPP to employees.
  • If employers do offer a PRPP, are all employees eligible to join?
    If employers do offer a PRPP, are all employees eligible to join?
    No, employers can choose what employees are eligible to join.
  • Where can I get more information about PRPPs?
    Where can I get more information about PRPPs?
    You can go to our website, www.prpp-greatwestlife.com to find out more.
  • Can employers change an existing Great-West Life retirement savings plan into a PRPP?
    Can employers change an existing Great-West Life retirement savings plan into a PRPP?
    If they already have a group retirement savings plan with Great-West Life, we recommend they discuss this with their plan advisor or Great-West Life client relationship manager. They know the details of your plan and can assist you in evaluating the best options for you and your employees. Our Comparing retirement savings plans table compares different types of retirement savings plans available, including the PRPP.
  • Can employers offer a different retirement savings plan instead of a PRPP?
    Can employers offer a different retirement savings plan instead of a PRPP?
    Yes, we’d be happy to discuss other options. We suggest getting in touch with your advisor to discuss your options. You can also call 1-855-884-8381, Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 ET to speak with a PRPP specialist.
  • How do employers set up a PRPP?
    How do employers set up a PRPP?
    It’s easy. First, go to the Get a PRPP page on this site and provide your information. A PRPP specialist will contact you within 24 business hours.
  • What are employers’ responsibilities?
    What are employers’ responsibilities?
    Employers have to:
    • Choose a PRPP administrator and enter into a contract with that administrator to provide their PRPP to their employees.
    • Let their employees know about the PRPP 30 days before finalizing the contract.
    • Provide eligible employee information to their PRPP administrator (e.g., name, date of birth, date of employment, etc.).
    • Withhold employee contributions and remit to their PRPP administrator.
    • Tell their PRPP administrator about new employees and employees who are leaving the company.
    • Decide if employers will make contributions to the plan. If they do, their contributions will be exempt from payroll tax. Plus, employers who contribute may find they have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining skilled employees.

    With the Great-West Life PRPP, employers receive step-by-step support for all of these requirements.

  • Do employers have to contribute to their employees’ PRPP?
    Do employers have to contribute to their employees’ PRPP?
    No, but if they do, their contributions will be exempt from payroll tax. Plus, employers who contribute may find they have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining skilled employees. Any employer contributions will reduce an employee’s RRSP deduction limit for the current year.
  • How do employees enrol in the PRPP?
    How do employees enrol in the PRPP?
    The employees will automatically be enrolled in the PRPP by their employer unless they object based on religious reasons. Employees who don’t object based on religious reasons, can opt out of the PRPP. Once the opt-out period has expired, the employer will begin deducting contributions from the employee’s salary.
  • Do employees have to participate?
    Do employees have to participate?
    Eligible employees will automatically be enrolled in the PRPP by their employer unless they object for religious reasons. Employees who don’t object based on religious reasons can opt out of the PRPP. Once the opt-out period has expired, the employer will begin deducting contributions from the employee’s salary.
  • What investment funds are available?
    What investment funds are available?
    For more details on these, visit Investment program.
  • Will investment funds be the same for PRPPs?
    Will investment funds be the same for PRPPs?
    Different administrators may offer different investment options. That’s why it’s important to choose an administrator with a proven track record of understanding and working with small- to medium-sized businesses.
  • Can employees select the funds they want to invest in?
    Can employees select the funds they want to invest in?
    Yes, they can choose one or more of the investment options and indicate the percentage of their contributions they want to invest in each.
  • Is there a default fund?
    Is there a default fund?
    Yes, it will be a lifecycle fund, which we call a target date fund.
    From glossary:
    Lifecycle funds, also known as target date funds, are a type of asset allocation fund which provides diversification within a single fund. A member chooses one target date fund based on their desired retirement date. This fund automatically places an emphasis on growth in early years and gradually becomes more conservative as the member approaches his or her target retirement date.
  • What will the costs be for employers?
    What will the costs be for employers?
    There are no direct fees from Great-West Life for administration of the basic plan.
  • Who’s responsible for overseeing PRPPs?
    Who’s responsible for overseeing PRPPs?
    The federal PRPP will be supervised by Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI).
  • Can employees change or discontinue contributions?
    Can employees change or discontinue contributions?
    Yes for Great-West Life PRPPs, employees will be able to change their contribution rate. Employees can also cease contributions after they’ve been a member for 12 months. Remember, ceasing contributions is different than objecting to being enrolled for religious reasons (which a member can do before being enrolled) or opting out of the plan.
  • How do employees change or discontinue contributions?
    How do employees change or discontinue contributions?
    Employees will need to contact their employer to make this change.
  • Will there be contribution limits for employees?
    Will there be contribution limits for employees?
    Contributions to a PRPP will be subject to RRSP limits, i.e., a maximum of 18 per cent of previous years’ earned income up to limit, e.g., $23,820 for 2013.
  • How often must contributions be submitted to the plan administrator?
    How often must contributions be submitted to the plan administrator?
    Contributions must be submitted on a monthly basis.
  • Will employee PRPP contributions be tax deductible?
    Will employee PRPP contributions be tax deductible?
    Yes.
  • How do employees opt out?
    How do employees opt out?
    After employees are automatically enrolled, they’ll have 60 days to opt out. They’ll be able to opt out by filling out a form included in their enrolment kit and returning that form to their employer. Employees who object to becoming members for religious reasons can do so before being enrolled.
  • Can employees make withdrawals from their PRPP?
    Can employees make withdrawals from their PRPP?
    Employees won’t be able to make a withdrawal from their PRPP.
  • What’s in it for employees?
    What’s in it for employees?
    PRPPs offer employees:
    • An opportunity to save for a more comfortable retirement
    • Easy participation – with automatic enrolment and defaults for their contribution amount, and a default investment fund, which is a lifecycle fund
    • Tax savings
    • Low investment management fees
    • The option to transfer assets from one PRPP to another
    • Increased flexibility since participation is voluntary and can be modified at any time

If you can’t find your answer, you can contact our team.