Making retirement planning easier and more affordable for all Canadians
Toronto, Canada – June 15, 2021 – Common Wealth has launched a technology-enabled retirement savings and planning platform designed to give all Canadian employers access to an easy-to-use, portable, and cost-effective way to help their employees save for their future.
Retirement is a major issue in the financial lives of Canadians that has gone largely unaddressed, and represents an emerging crisis for Canadian society. Retirement-related concerns have long topped the list of Canadians’ financial worries. The pandemic has only heightened this anxiety. Numerous studies have shown that millions of Canadians are likely to be financially unprepared for retirement, and the World Economic Forum estimates that Canada’s retirement savings gap is $3 trillion – and scheduled to grow to $13 trillion in the next 30 years.
“We’re thrilled to offer Canadian employers a new choice, that incorporates investment and annuity solutions delivered by world-class leaders like BlackRock and Brookfield Annuity,” said Jonathan Weisstub, Common Wealth co-founder and co-CEO.
The company’s retirement platform is the result of over five years of research and development in collaboration with some of the world’s leaders in the retirement domain, including the World Bank and the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). Common Wealth addresses several major gaps in the Canadian retirement market:
- High fees that most Canadians pay to save and invest for retirement
- Lack of portability of workplace plans
- Lack of retirement planning
- Lack of concern for smaller employers and modest-income savers
- Typical RRSPs, DC pension plans, and other retirement savings vehicles – whether they are offered through traditional financial institutions, robo-advisors, or online brokerages – are not helping Canadians save enough for retirement
“Even though millions of Canadians have been asking for help with retirement for years, we didn’t see any modern technology solutions that addressed the problem of retirement planning and saving for the average Canadian. That’s why we built our company and why we built this platform,” said Alex Mazer, Common Wealth co-founder and co-CEO.
The Common Wealth platform incorporates evidence-based research and tools that can generate up to three times the retirement income for every dollar of savings compared to typical RRSP products. The platform also answers top questions about retirement planning, including how much you need in retirement income, how much to save to reach that goal, and how much to expect from government benefits. Its unique features include:
- Personalized Retirement Planning and Saving: Helps members set a target retirement income, automate savings, and track their progress towards this goal
- Simplified Investments: Common Wealth is the first provider outside of large insurance companies to make BlackRock’s LifePath target date funds available to plan members in Canada. In-app suggestions help members select the right fund for their retirement goals
- Tax and Benefits Optimization: In-app guidance helps members to get the most out of their RRSP/RRIF, TFSA, and government benefits
- Guaranteed Lifetime Income: Unique deferred annuity offering underwritten by Brookfield Annuity allows members to purchase guaranteed income in small monthly amounts
- Portability: Members can take their plan with them from job to job and into retirement – giving them a true retirement plan for life
- Payroll Integration: Enables employers to easily leverage the power of payroll-based savings, which makes people 15x more likely to save
- Low Fees: Members pay fees up to 70% lower than what Canadians typically pay to save for retirement
- Rapid Enrollment: Enrollment takes members about 20 minutes – after which members have a personalized retirement plan
- Easy Employer Onboarding: Digital process, with group education, one-on-one guided enrollments, and regular checkups to help members stay on track and get the maximum value out of their plan
The first deployment of the Common Wealth platform, a retirement plan for Ontario physicians in partnership with the Ontario Medical Association, won two awards for innovation from Pensions & Investments and Canadian Investment Review.
With this launch, Common Wealth is inviting Canadian employers of any size to support the financial wellness of their employees with a digital retirement plan designed for the modern workplace. For more information, visit commonwealthretirement.com.
About Common Wealth
Common Wealth is a fast-growing fintech company that is on a mission to make it possible for every Canadian to achieve a financially secure retirement. The firm provides an efficient, straightforward retirement planning and saving experience powered by a modern online retirement platform for a 21st century workforce. Recognized internationally for its innovation in plan design, Common Wealth Retirement collaborated with SEIU Healthcare to create the first retirement plan in Canada for lower- and moderate-income workers and more recently partnered with the Ontario Medical Association to design the first group retirement income plan in the country focused on the needs of physicians. Common Wealth works primarily through partnerships to reach as many Canadians as possible.
About our delivery partners
Common Wealth works with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to make its professionally managed target date funds available to plan members. It has also formed a unique relationship with Brookfield Annuity Company that allows members to purchase a life annuity in automatic monthly installments. Personalized trustee and custodial solutions are provided by CWB Trust Services.