Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to your questions about the ICPP.
The ICPP is a Multi-Employer, Collective Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Plan. The ICPP is registered as a pension plan under the Income Tax Act and the Ontario Pension Benefits Act.
The ICPP uses a Multi-Employer Plan framework. This means that any Canadian employer can sign into the ICPP, giving their employees access to a reliable lifetime pension. There are no limits on how many employees a company must have in order to participate in the ICPP.
In order to join the ICPP, employers sign a Participating Employer Agreement. With the help of our pension consultants, Participating Employers will then select a minimum default Ideal Benefit for employees and determine appropriate contribution levels. Employers are also responsible for submitting the appropriate member data we need to administer the plan. We work with you to ensure the enrolment process is as simple and streamlined as possible.
After an employer joins the ICPP, our pension consultants will provide clear communications on next steps for employees to successfully enroll in the plan. All new members of the ICPP will attend a presentation delivered by our pension consultants explaining the Plan in detail and answering any questions. New members are also provided with a detailed Member Booklet and access to a Personal Pension Portal containing helpful information about the ICPP. Members will complete an Enrolment Form and a Benefit Preference Form where they can indicate their Expected Retirement Age and select any additional Benefit Targets in addition to the default Ideal Benefit selected by their employer. Based on this information, our pension consultants will provide an initial pension statement and determine appropriate contribution levels for a member to meet their retirement goals. Members can also reach out to Member Support at any point during the enrolment process if they have questions or concerns.
Our pension consultants make switching to the ICPP as easy as possible, with little disruption to employers or members. We also waive any of our fees associated with transitioning to the ICPP.
The ICPP was designed by pension experts as a direct response to the shortcomings of typical workplace retirement arrangements in Canada, which can be burdensome to employers and ultimately fail to provide sufficient financial security to members in retirement.
Participating Employers in the ICPP enjoy an outsourced solution that greatly reduces the administrative and fiduciary responsibilities associated with pension plans. They also reap the benefits of offering real retirement security to their employees, which helps to attract and retain top talent and ensures employees retire on the appropriate schedule.
For members, the ICPP has many features that make it more advantageous than traditional Defined Contribution (DC) pension plans or Group RRSPs. Members can expect: lower fees resulting in bigger payouts for the same contribution levels; lifetime payments that ensure they don’t outlive their savings; expert support during their working years and in retirement; and worry-free retirement planning.
Upon enrolling in the ICPP, Participating Employers must select a minimum default Benefit Target (the Ideal Benefit) and minimum contribution level. They will also transmit the necessary member data so our pension consultants can administer the plan going forward. After enrolment, Participating Employers simply remit contributions as part of their regular payroll process. They must also notify us of any membership changes (i.e. new hires, terminations, etc.). It’s that simple. We take care of the rest, including plan administration, governance, and member support/communication.
If they choose, representatives of Participating Employers may also seek to become a member of the ICPP Management Board.
The ICPP is designed to be simple and worry-free for its members. With guidance from our pension consultants, members set their expected retirement date and select any additional Benefit Targets they would like to fund above the default Ideal Benefit chosen by their employer. Based on their retirement income preferences and financial situation, Members may elect to contribute toward one or more of the ICPP’s other flexible Benefit Target options. Members receive regular Pension Statements via their personal online portal or via the mail, updating them on the progress of their savings. Members can change their benefit targets, retirement date, and contribution levels (above the required minimums) at any time. Our Member Support team is always available to answer any questions or concerns members may have.
If you are not currently enrolled in the ICPP and would like to learn more, we invite you to contact us. We would be happy to provide further information about the plan and offer a free proposal.
Current members of the ICPP can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Toll-Free: 1-866-265-5694. You can also login to your personal pension portal to access your latest pension statements and member information.
The ICPP offers flexible contribution arrangements to align with a Participating Employer’s total compensation philosophy and can accommodate any appropriate level of company required, company matching, employee required, employee optional, or employee discretionary contributions. The ICPP requires an initial minimum Employer contribution of 1% of a Member’s regular earnings. Total contributions into the ICPP must be a minimum of 3% of a Member’s regular contributions and limited to the maximum permitted to a registered pension plan under the Income Tax Act.
Contribution levels are related to the default Ideal Benefit Target selected by a Participating Employer. Our professionals assist each Participating Employer is setting the appropriate Ideal Benefit Target and corresponding contribution level.
A Participating Employer will determine the contribution formula upon signing into the ICPP. The contribution formula will reflect the Participating Employer’s total compensation philosophy. For instance, a Participating Employer may wish to require its members to contribute up to 3% of earnings, while the employer will make a required 3% of earnings contribution and match the employee’s contribution at 100%, for a total of 9% of earnings contribution. In another example, the Participating Employer may elect contribute 5% of earnings and their employees may contribute any amount up to the Income Tax Act Limit.
Any contribution formula can be adopted subject to the Plan minimums and pension legislation. The contribution formula is designed to be flexible to match each Participating Employer views on employee compensation, rewards and benefits.
The current all in cost for the ICPP is approximately 0.55% to 0.60% per year of assets under management. These fees include all investment management services, administrative services, and governance services in connection with the operation of the pension plan.
In comparison, typical fees charged to mid-size retirement plan sponsors range between 1.00 to 2.00% per year of assets under management for traditional Defined Contribution plans and Group RRSP. This excludes the internal time and cost of proper plan governance and oversight of any third party service providers.
Investment expenses matter when accumulating retirement savings. Member fees payable from the ICPP are 50% less than typically charged under small to mid-size employer Defined Contribution arrangements and 70% less than typically available in the Canadian retail sector. This leads to significantly larger retirement benefits for members of the ICPP compared to most typical retirement solutions available to the Canadian private sector.
As membership in the ICPP grows, fees are expected to shrink even further. Currently, fees are approximately 0.55% per annum of assets under management, with the goal of reducing fees to approximately 0.30% per annum of assets under management once the ICPP is fully mature.
The investment philosophy for the ICPP is simple: there is an optimal collective approach for all Members that can yield better returns and lower expenses. Contributions made to the ICPP are invested professionally with appropriately designed strategies for the plan’s various Benefit Targets. Individual Members do not have to bear the burden of investing wisely. Instead, collective investment management supports better payouts for all members. Learn more about how we invest.
Multiple studies conclude that the vast majority of individual members of a pension plan make suboptimal investment choices leading to lower investment returns, higher expenses, and as a result, lower retirement income and/or delayed retirement. The cafeteria-style investment options offered by most traditional Defined Contribution plans can force Members to make investment choices they may be uncomfortable with or simply ill equipped to evaluate. These uninformed investment choices can put a Member’s personal retirement security in jeopardy. The ICPP’s collective investment approach mitigates this risk and helps to ensure members receive better payouts than would be expected if they selected their own investments.
As a registered pension plan, your assets are held by the ICPP’s fund custodian, Cooperators Life Insurance.
The investment management fees are currently approximately 25 basis points (or 0.25% per year). For reference, investment fees for a typical Defined Contribution plan for a small to mid-sized employer are generally 60 basis points or more.
Participating Employers can expect ongoing expert support from our pension consultants that make having a workplace pension plan as hassle-free as possible. Employers simply enroll members, remit contributions, and advise of employment changes. We take care of the rest. Employers will receive regular communications on the performance of the plan to ensure their employees are receiving the best retirement outcomes possible.
Members receive regular communications about their personal savings and any important plan updates. Members can login to their online pension portal at any time to access their pension statements, enrolment forms, and other plan information such as their Member Booklet and instructional videos. Members can also reach out to our support team if they have questions or concerns, or would like to make changes to their Benefit Targets, Contributions, or Expected Retirement Date.
The ICPP is unique in that its members continue to receive support during their retirement years. Retired members can reach out to our support team at any time with questions or concerns. Additionally, retired members continue to receive regular pension statements and are advised on appropriate withdrawal levels to ensure they are not receiving too much or too little of their pension to provide for lifetime payments.
Current members of the ICPP can contact us at email@example.com or call us toll-free: 1-866-265-5694. You can also login to your personal pension portal to access your latest pension statements and member information.
The ICPP is designed to be hassle-free for Participating Employers by eliminating their role as Plan Administrator and Plan Sponsor. In fact, the ICPP is effectively a fully outsourced pension solution, with Participating Employers enjoying minimal risk and administrative burden.
Upon enrolling in the ICPP, Participating Employers must select a minimum default Ideal Benefit and minimum contribution level. They will also transmit the necessary member data so our pension consultants can administer the plan going forward. After enrolment, Participating Employers simply remit contributions as part of their regular payroll process. They must also notify us of any membership changes (i.e. new hires, terminations, etc.).
We take care of the rest, including plan administration, governance, and member support/communication. If they choose, Participating Employers may also seek to have direct representation on the ICPP Management Board.
The ICPP’s collective governance structure all but eliminates individual employer risks. As Administrator of the ICPP, the ICPP Management Board ensures lawful plan governance and oversees all third-party service providers to ensure optimal outcomes for members.
Yes. The ICPP Management Board represents all major stakeholders in the Plan, including Participating Employers. Individual Participating Employers may seek to have direct representation on the Board. The ICPP Nominating Committee is responsible for appointing new members to the Board.
Some key benefits of the ICPP Management Board include the elimination of individual employer risks, reduced fees, significantly reduced administrative burden, equitable representation of all stakeholders, and reliable expertise from pension industry leaders.
At retirement, a member will receive option forms from the ICPP administrator providing choices on how they can receive their retirement income. The member can elect to receive a monthly income amount expected to be payable for their lifetime. The ICPP has been specifically designed to optimize this income and ensure Members don’t have to worry about outliving their savings. Members may also elect to receive a lump sum transfer from the ICPP to another registered savings vehicle.
What makes the ICPP unique is that our Members, if they elect to receive a monthly pension, remain in the plan after retirement. This means they are able to continue to reap the benefits low fee investing, timely expert support, and professional investment management. This is different from typical Canadian Defined Contribution plans, whose members have to “go it alone” in retirement.
One of the primary downfalls of traditional Defined Contribution arrangements is the risk of spending too much, or too little of your pension over your lifetime. The ICPP mitigates this risk with payout strategies designed to provide appropriate payments for a Member’s entire lifetime.
Continued participation in the ICPP during retirement ensures members receive professional support and communication to appropriately manage longevity risks. Members are given ongoing expert advice on recommended withdrawal levels within personal Life Income Funds to ensure legislated minimums and maximums are respected.
Members of the ICPP will receive lifetime payments from a Variable Payment Life Annuity (VPLA). This innovative new retirement income vehicle is designed to provide variable income during a Member’s retirement based on the experience of the underlying investments and collective mortality. Members share their longevity risks in this account.
Yes. Members of the ICPP may continue to participate in the plan during retirement. This ensures members continue to receive expert support and guidance. Retired members also reap the benefits of asset pooling and low fees.
Members continue to receive the same high level of support in retirement that they did during their working years. This includes direct access to the ICPP’s member support team. Retired members also receive advice on appropriate withdrawal levels and regular updates on the status of their account. Retired members are also represented on the ICPP Management Board.
Members of the ICPP can change their Expected Retirement Date at any time. Should a member elect to retire earlier than originally anticipated, our pension consultants will provide advice on appropriate withdrawal levels based on the member’s current asset levels. You can retire as early as age 55.
Members of the ICPP can change their Expected Retirement Date at any time. Should a member elect to retire later than originally anticipated, our pension consultants will provide advice on appropriate contribution levels in relation to the new retirement timeline and the member’s Benefit Targets. Members can delay retirement up until December 1 in the year in which they attain age 71 in accordance with applicable tax legislation.
In the event of your death before retirement, your spouse will be entitled to receive your account balance as a lump sum or maintain your account balance in the ICPP to provide them with a monthly retirement income. If you do not have a spouse, your beneficiary is entitled to receive the lump sum value of your account.
Upon termination, a member will receive an option form from the ICPP administrators detailing the options available to them. These options include, maintaining their account within the ICPP or transferring the lump sum value of their account to another registered retirement savings vehicle or to purchase an annuity from an insurance company. It is optimal to remain in the ICPP in most circumstances to continue to receive the benefits of low fees, pooled investments, and expert support.
Upon leaving their employer, a member will receive an option form from the ICPP administrators detailing the options available to them. These options include, maintaining their account within the ICPP or transferring the lump sum value of their account to another registered retirement savings vehicle or to purchase an annuity from an insurance company. It is optimal to remain in the ICPP in most circumstances to continue to receive the benefits of low fees, pooled investments, and expert support.
At retirement, Members of the ICPP can choose to transfer the lump sum value of their account to another registered retirement savings vehicle or to purchase an annuity from an insurance company. It is optimal, however, for Members to remain in the ICPP during retirement so they can continue to reap the benefits of investment pooling, low fees, and professional support.