SMEs underestimate the importance of pension benefits to their employees

SMEs underestimate the importance of pension benefits to their employees 

    --  Environics survey shows small and medium-sized businesses
        underrate the value of workplace retirement plans to their
    --  Standard Life introduces a simpler pension solution based on
        both employees' and employers' needs

MONTREAL, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance Company of 
Canada ("Standard Life") today announced a new retirement solution, "Pension 
in a Box", designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") offer 
their employees a workplace retirement plan that answers their needs. Pension 
in a Box is intended to help the millions of Canadians who work for an SME to 
save for the future, and it will also help SMEs in terms of employee retention 
and satisfaction.

In a 2012 Environics Research Group survey(1) conducted for Standard Life, 
over nine out of 10 SME employees (92%) rank workplace savings and retirement 
plans as an important factor in remaining with their employer, ranking it 
among the top three benefits. Yet, the majority of SME executives (69%) rank 
workplace savings and retirement plans as only the seventh most important 
benefit in motivating and retaining employees.

"SMEs make up the vast majority of businesses in Canada. When it comes to 
group retirement plans, their needs and resources are different from larger 
organizations. Consequently, workplace savings and retirement plans need to be 
adapted to their reality," said Michel Fortin, Senior Vice-President, 
Marketing and Customer Solutions. "This is why we developed Pension in a Box, 
a simpler retirement solution tailored specifically for SMEs. It allows SME 
decision-makers to focus on what they do best, that is running their 
day-to-day business, and not worrying about the complexities of managing a 
pension plan. They can leave this to us at Standard Life, where our goal is to 
share our expertise with our clients, and remain at the forefront in 
developing solutions that meet the evolving needs of employers, from the 
simplest to the most sophisticated pension offering."

Pension in a Box highlights
Pension in a Box is a simple, flexible and online workplace retirement 
solution. It takes into account employees' needs and degrees of investment 
knowledge, as well as their comfort level with various financial products.

Pension in a Box offers investment options that are part of Standard Life's 
comprehensive and select investment platform. It allows employers to build an 
attractive and competitive program using a range of savings and retirement 
plans that help employees save for the future, such as:
    --  Defined Contribution Registered Pension Plan (DC-RPP)
    --  Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
    --  Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
    --  Non-Registered Savings Plan (NRSP)
    --  Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP)

Benefits to employees, employers and advisors
Pension in a Box holds benefits for employees, employers and their advisors:
    --  Employees can plan for retirement with user-friendly online
    --  Employers can access online tools and services that make
        administration easy and efficient, as well as Standard Life's
        longstanding expertise in terms of governance responsibilities,
        such as compliance with laws and regulations.
    --  Advisors can develop and build long-term partnerships with
        employers by offering group benefits, and become a key provider
        of financial advice to employees.

Additional information on Pension in a Box is available on or by 
talking to an advisor.

Fact sheets are available at SME Opportunities.

About Standard Life

Standard Life plc is a leading long-term savings and investment company 
headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life has around six million 
customers worldwide and operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America 
and Asia, and globally with Standard Life Investments Ltd.

In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for 180 years. It operates 
under Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life 
Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd. It is Standard 
Life plc's largest operation outside the UK with about 2,000 employees. It 
provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 
1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members.

As of September 30, 2012, Standard Life plc had C$337 billion in assets under 
administration, including C$44 billion in Canada through Standard Life 

(________________________________ )
(1) Survey conducted for Standard Life by Environics Research Group with 400 
SME officers and 600 SME employees in fall 2012. 

Geoffrey King 514-499-7999, ext. 8150


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ST: Quebec

-0- Feb/20/2013 14:48 GMT

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