The pension world is transforming itself and a new retirement paradigm has emerged.
Employer paternalism is quickly disappearing and the emphasis is changing to employee self-sufficiency
Ongoing economic pressures are forcing employers to justify the ROI of every dollar spent on benefits. A seismic shift has taken place in the pension world that has resulted in a move away from a defined benefit to a defined contribution or money purchase approach to saving for retirement. The once predominant defined benefit pension plans are being replaced by financial products known as Capital Accumulation Plans (acronym CAPs).
This fundamental change in approach is having dramatic implications for both employers and employees!
CAPs shift the onus onto employees to save and invest their own retirement money wisely. New skill sets and investment knowledge are required to do this properly. Employer responsibilities have not disappeared. Plan sponsors must ensure that they select the right CAP provider and choose and monitor appropriate investment funds. In addition, they must engage and educate plan members about their responsibilities.
ACAP, the acronym for Administration of Capital Accumulation Plans, has been developed by the Centre for Employee Benefits to address this need. ACAP is a unique interactive learning experience with content designed in consultation with a dedicated group of industry experts drawn from across Canada. We are indebted to the following Steering Committee members, and many others, who assisted us in putting the curriculum together for this new course:
Caroline Helbronner - Blake Cassels & Grayson LLP - Toronto
Greg Hurst - Morneau Sobeco - Vancouver
Elaine Noel Bentley - Independent Pension Consultant - Calgary
Matthew Rotenburg - Standard Life - Montreal
Bill Turnbull - Cooperative Superannuation Society Pension Plan - Saskatoon
Gretchen Van Reisen - GVR Consulting - Toronto
The ACAP modules cover five different CAPs and examine a variety of contemporary topics including design features; the regulatory and legal environment; CAP governance; marketing the CAP; financial literacy; CAP investments, behavioral finance research and communication.
The program consists of two one-week modules each of which includes four days of seminars and hands-on workshops. Topics are presented by recognized industry experts drawn from leading legal, consulting, insurance and investment organizations.
Case studies and practical exercises are used throughout and workbooks are provided as background to the presentations.