What is a group retirement and savings plan?

A group retirement plan is set up by an employer for employees as a workplace benefit. Employers offer the plan because their contributions are tax-deductible, and the plan acts as an employee incentive.

Employee contributions are invested in preselected investments offered under the plan and when they are, employers often match a percentage of the contributions. For employees, it’s an easy way to save for retirement or other goals.

The right plan balances the needs of your employees at a cost that works for your organization.


Why offer a group retirement and savings plan?

Benefits for your employees

  • Lower fees:  Keep more money in your employees’ pockets since group fees are generally lower than retail.
  • Convenience:  It’s easier for them to manage and monitor an investment fund than choosing individual stocks and bonds on their own.
  • Help build lifelong saving habits:  You can help your employees build good financial, health and wellness habits – a plan they can continue to use for life.

Benefits for your business

  • Tax benefits:  With some products you can deduct administrative fees as a business expense.
  • Reduce payroll expenses:  Contributions to a deferred profit sharing plan can, in some cases, reduce your payroll expenses.
  • Simplified plan governance:  While there are certain responsibilities that come with offering a group retirement and savings plan, we simplify the process to help make sure your plan is compliant.


What’s the right plan for your company?

Let’s take a look at the different plans you can offer. We can build a solution that works for you from an extensive investment fund lineup.

Saving for any situation

  • Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)

Canada’s staple retirement product provides employees the benefit of pre-tax payroll contributions, shelters their investment earnings and contributions until they withdraw – all with simplified administration for you.

  • Tax-free savings account (TFSA)

Provide employees a lot more flexibility to use their money for short and long-term goals with no tax on their investment earnings or withdrawals.

  • Non-registered savings plan (NRSP)

Provide employees more flexibility when they retire or if they are no longer employed by your company with a plan where amounts aren’t restricted by contribution limits. Unlike an RRSP or TFSA, investment earnings are taxable.


  • Registered pension plan (RPP)

A retirement plan for employees set up by an employer. Within certain limits, it provides tax advantages because contributions are tax-deductible and investment income isn’t taxed until it’s paid out of the plan. Employers are required to contribute a minimum amount to an RPP.

  • Simplified pension plan (SPP)

Available only in Manitoba and Quebec, it offers flexible contribution levels and ad-hoc contributions. You also don’t have to worry about most of the administrative obligations and responsibilities because Canada Life will be the plan administrator.

Stock and profit-sharing plans

  • Employee profit-sharing plan (EPSP)

A plan where amounts are paid by the employer into an account that allows employees to share in company profits. Employer contributions are deductible as an expense without limit. Tax treatment of EPSP contributions is the same as if the employer paid the employee an increased salary. Employees can also contribute to an EPSP.

  • Employee stock purchase plan

Employers who offer this plan typically give eligible employees the opportunity to purchase shares of the company at the market price. The employer can make contributions on behalf of their employees. Employees purchase the shares using after-tax income.

  • Deferred profit-sharing plan (DPSP)

Share profits with your employees depending on how well the company does. Contributions are tax-deductible to the employer within certain limits, as defined by the Income Tax Act.