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VRSP resources

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

How to set up a VRSP – Setting up a VRSP is simple. Here are the five steps to follow to implement the plan.

VRSP plan text – Outlines the provisions and terms of the plan registered with the regulatory authorities.

VRSP 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 London Life VRSP.

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

Find out what makes group retirement programs successful:

Strategies for successful group retirement programs

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:

Plan comparison chart (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). Our VRSP 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
    Default fund/Default investment option
    a pre-selected investment option used when a member doesn’t provide investment instructions. Our default investment options are the Harmonized Target Date Funds.
  • Diversification
    Diversification
    selection of investments with different asset classes, investment styles and investment managers
  • Investment management fees
    Investment management fees (IMFs)
    the cost of managing investment options and administering the plan that are deducted daily from the fund through the calculation of net unit value
  • Investment personality questionnaire
    Investment personality questionnaire
    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 voluntary retirement savings plan (VRSP)
  • 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
  • Voluntary retirement savings plan
    Voluntary retirement savings plan (VRSP)
    a retirement savings plan, administered in accordance with rules created by the Quebec 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 the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans Act (VRSP) and only apply to the London Life VRSP for individuals working in Quebec and for businesses and industries located in Quebec.

  • What are VRSPs?
    What are VRSPs?
    Voluntary Retirements Savings Plans (VRSPs) are retirement savings plans available to individuals, businesses and industries located in Quebec.
  • When must employers offer a VRSP?
    When must employers offer a VRSP?
    While VRSP legislation took effect July 1, 2014, the requirement for employers to offer a VRSP will be phased in over several years depending on the size of the company. For example, companies with:
    • 20 or more eligible employees as of June 30, 2016 – the VRSP must be offered by Dec. 31, 2016
    • 10 to 19 eligible employees as of June 30, 2017 – the VRSP must be offered by Dec. 31, 2017
    • Five to nine eligible employees – sometime on or after Jan. 1, 2018 (date to be determined by the Quebec government)
  • Do employers have to offer a VRSP?
    Do employers have to offer a VRSP?
    Employers must offer a VRSP or another type of workplace retirement savings plan, namely a group registered retirement savings plan, a registered pension plan, or a tax-free savings plan.
  • If employers offer a VRSP, are all employees eligible to join?
    If employers offer a VRSP, are all employees eligible to join?
    Yes. Employees with one year of continuous service will be enrolled into the plan automatically. Employees who do not have a year of continuous service with the employer can join upon request.
  • Where can I get more information about London Life VRSPs?
    Where can I get more information about London Life VRSPs?
    For more information, contact a VRSP specialist by calling 1-855-495-7837, or by emailing vrsp@londonlife.com. You can also continue visiting our website, www.vrsp-londonlife.com, to learn more.
  • Can employers change an existing retirement savings plan they have with us to a VRSP?
    Can employers change an existing retirement savings plan they have with us to a VRSP?
    Yes. Employers who already have a group retirement savings plan with us should discuss this with their plan advisor or Group Retirement Services representative. These experts know the details of existing plans and can assist in evaluating the best options for employers and their employees. Our Comparing retirement savings plans table compares different types of retirement savings plans available, including the VRSP.
  • Can employers offer a different retirement savings plan instead of a VRSP?
    Can employers offer a different retirement savings plan instead of a VRSP?
    Yes. Employers should get in touch with their advisor or Group Retirement Services representative to discuss the options. Also, our Comparing retirement savings plans table compares different types of retirement savings plans available, including the VRSP. You can also call 1-855-495-7837, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET to speak with a VRSP specialist.
  • How do employers set up a London Life VRSP?
    How do employers set up a London Life VRSP?
    It’s easy. First, go to the Get a VRSP page on this site and provide your information. A VRSP specialist will contact you the next business day.
  • What are employers’ responsibilities?
    What are employers’ responsibilities?
    Employers must:
    • Choose a VRSP administrator, like London Life, and enter into a contract with that administrator to provide a VRSP to their employees
    • Let their employees know about the VRSP 30 days before finalizing the contract
    • Automatically enrol eligible employees into the plan and any other company employee who requests to join the plan
    • Provide their VRSP administrator with the employee information that the administrator requires to comply with the law
    • Let the VRSP administrator know if your employee decides to opt out of the plan
    • Every two years, offer employees who have opted out of the plan or who set their contribution rate at 0%, to join the plan again or to resume contributing to the plan
    • Withhold employee contributions and remit to their VRSP administrator
    • Tell their VRSP administrator about new employees and employees who are leaving the company
    • Upon request, make available contractual and financial information on the plan, to employees who are members of the plan
    • Decide if they will make employer contributions to the plan and inform their VRSP administrator of the contribution rates and rate changes, if any
    • With the London Life VRSP, employers receive step-by-step support for all of these requirements.
  • Do employers have to contribute to their employees’ VRSP?
    Do employers have to contribute to their employees’ VRSP?
    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 VRSP deduction limit for the current year.
  • How do employees enrol in the VRSP?
    How do employees enrol in the VRSP?
    Eligible employees will be enrolled automatically in the VRSP by their employer. Other employees will be enrolled by their employer upon request to join the plan.
  • Do employees have to participate?
    Do employees have to participate?
    Eligible employees will be enrolled automatically in the VRSP by their employer and have 60 days to opt out of the plan after automatic enrolment. Once this opt out period expires, the employer will begin deducting contributions from the employee’s salary.
  • How many investment options must be offered in a VRSP?
    How many investment options must be offered in a VRSP?
    A VRSP must offer one default investment option as well as three other investment options. Here’s a list of the options we offer.
  • What investment funds are available for London Life VRSPs?
    What investment funds are available for London Life VRSPs?
    We offer simple investment solutions for your employees to choose from. Here’s a list of their options.
  • Will the same funds be offered by all VRSP administrators?
    Will the same funds be offered by all VRSP administrators?
    No. Different administrators may offer different investment options. That’s why it’s important to choose an administrator like London Life who has a proven track record of understanding and working with small- to medium-sized businesses.
  • Can employees select the funds they want to invest in for a London Life VRSP?
    Can employees select the funds they want to invest in for a London Life VRSP?
    Yes, they can choose one or more of the investment options and indicate the percentage of their contributions they want to invest in each. Learn more.
  • What if employees don’t choose an investment fund?
    What if employees don’t choose an investment fund?
    Their contributions will be automatically invested in a default fund. The default fund is a lifecycle fund, which we call a target date fund. These are a type of asset allocation fund that provides diversification within a single fund. Plan members do not choose the default fund. It will be automatically chosen according to their age and their desired retirement date. This fund automatically places an emphasis on growth in early years and gradually becomes more conservative as members approach their target retirement date. Learn more.
  • What will the costs be for employers to administer a London Life VRSP?
    What will the costs be for employers to administer a London Life VRSP?
    There are no direct fees charged by London Life for administration of the basic plan.
  • Who’s responsible for overseeing VRSPs?
    Who’s responsible for overseeing VRSPs?
    The VRSPs will be supervised by the Régie des rentes du Québec.
  • Can employees change or discontinue contributions to a London Life VRSP?
    Can employees change or discontinue contributions to a London Life VRSP?
    Yes. Employees will be able to change how much they contribute up to twice a year and even choose to contribute at 0%.
  • 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.
  • Can employees choose how much to contribute to a London Life VRSP?
    Can employees choose how much to contribute to a London Life VRSP?
    Yes. Employees may choose the contribution amount that works for them.
  • What if employees don’t specify how much to contribute to a London Life VRSP?
    What if employees don’t specify how much to contribute to a London Life VRSP?
    The law provides for the plan to offer a default contribution rate.
  • Will there be contribution limits for employees?
    Will there be contribution limits for employees?
    Contributions to a VRSP 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 VRSP contributions be tax deductible?
    Will employee VRSP contributions be tax deductible?
    Yes.
  • How do employees opt out?
    How do employees opt out?
    Employees can opt out of the VRSP by notifying their employer that they no longer wish to be a member of the plan.
  • Can employees make withdrawals from their VRSP?
    Can employees make withdrawals from their VRSP?
    Yes. Employees can make withdrawals from the monies they contributed to the VRSP at least once a year but cannot make withdrawals from the monies contributed by their employer if any. That money remains locked-in until retirement, unless the legislation permits it to be unlocked before that time.
  • Will employee contributions be locked in?
    Will employee contributions be locked in?
    No. Refunds of employee contributions are allowed.
  • Will employer contributions be locked in?
    Will employer contributions be locked in?
    Yes. Employer contributions are not payable until retirement or unless the legislation allows the funds to be unlocked before that time.
  • What are the advantages of London Life VRSPs for employees?
    What are the advantages of London Life VRSPs for employees?
    VRSPs 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 VRSP 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.

The VRSP is administered by London Life Insurance Company and marketed by The Great-West Life Assurance Company. London Life is a subsidiary of Great-West Life. London Life and design are trademarks of London Life Insurance Company. Great-West Life and the key design are trademarks of The Great-West Life Assurance Company, used under licence by London Life.