Make every dollar count

Finally: a retirement plan for modest earners

Over the past year, Common Wealth has had the opportunity to partner with SEIU Healthcare, an Ontario-based union, to design and implement a new retirement plan called My65+. We believe that My65+, which was launched at an event in Toronto last week, is the first retirement plan specifically designed for the needs of modest-earning workers, particularly those without access to a workplace pension. Among the intended beneficiaries are personal support workers who provide care for seniors in their homes.

Open to SEIU Healthcare members and their family members, My65+ is low-fee, portable, and structured to preserve government benefits in retirement. Designed based on the principles used by some of the world’s best pension plans, My65+ puts members’ interests first, delivering 3-4 times more retirement value for money for these workers than a typical RRSP.

Some of the key features of My65+ include:

  • Low, transparent fees: investment costs of 0.22% and administrative costs of $7 per member per month
  • Preserves government benefits: structured as a Group Tax Free Savings Account, My65+ allows members to keep their Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits. By contrast, income from RRSPs or pension plans results in a clawback of GIS benefits of at least 50 cents on the dollar.
  • Portability: members can remain part of the plan as they move from job to job and into retirement, even after they leave the union
  • Members first: the plan will be overseen by a mixed-membership board that will have a fiduciary duty to serve members’ best interests
  • Simplicity: investment choice will be limited to a suite of low-cost “target date” funds, provided by Vanguard, which offer a diversified portfolio of high-quality equity and fixed-income investments that automatically adjust as the member ages

Common Wealth is excited to be partnering with SEIU Healthcare, the plan sponsor, as well as with other service delivery partners Vanguard, JEA, and Canadian Western Trust to deliver this innovative plan to SEIU Healthcare members and their families. We believe it will have a significant impact on the lives of some of the hardest working, and most vulnerable, people in our society.

Below you will find links to some media documents and stories about My65+, as well as some of the initial reaction to the plan from commentators.

Media / web 

Statements of support

The Daily Bread Food Bank

“Mainstream RRSPs just don’t pass the logic test for people earning less than $50 thousand per year,” said Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. “They need a savings plan that won’t end up costing them money in their most vulnerable time of life. SEIU’s plan allows them to hold on to all the retirement income they’re entitled to, and that makes so much sense.”

Aspen Institute Financial Security Program

“SEIU’s My65+ will provide an innovative, low-cost option for hard-working families to build private savings for retirement. It has the potential to serve as a much-needed model to expand coverage for low- and moderate-income workers across Canada, as well as in the U.S., where nearly one-half of private sector workers lack access to a retirement plan at work.” – Jeremy Smith, Associate Director at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

“This plan is a concrete step forward that will help workers in precarious jobs save for their retirement. It has an innovative approach, using tax policy to benefit low-wage workers. It is tailored to increasing retirement security and incomes for low-wage workers who take care of vulnerable Ontarians.” – Sheila Block, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


“More than 1 in 4 single seniors are living in poverty1 most of whom are women. This is unconscionable.

That is why CARP is delighted to support the SEIU’s My65+ initiative.  This program represents a significant step towards improving retirement security for thousands of care-workers, the majority of whom are women.  We’re impressed by the careful plan design; low fees will preserve assets and the use of a TFSA structure means savers will not be penalized with claw-backs from guaranteed incomes.

CARP strongly supports this initiative and would like to see similar projects developed to reduce senior poverty even further.”

Picture of Alex Mazer

Alex Mazer

Alex Mazer is a co-founder and co-CEO of Common Wealth Retirement, a mission-driven financial technology company that provides straightforward, portable retirement plans. To advance our mission to make it possible for everyone to have a financially secure retirement, Common Wealth focuses on serving those not covered by workplace retirement plans, including SMBs, not-for-profits, self-employed professionals, and modest earners.

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