Are you required to offer your employees a VRSP? That's the big question for business owners!


If you have 5 or more employees, you're affected by the Act.

Marie-Christine Daignault | Desjardins Group

The Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan (VRSP) Act,* introduced in July 2014, is still a bit of a mystery for many business owners.

Our expert, Yanik Paquin, from our Group Retirement Savings division, clears up the confusion.

Q1. How do you know if you should offer a VRSP?

If you have 5 or more employees, you’re affected by the Act.

To determine if you’re required to offer a VRSP, just answer these 2 questions:

  1. Do you currently offer a pension plan, group RRSP or group TFSA to ALL your employees?**
  2. If so, do you deduct contributions from their pay?

If you answered no to either of these questions, your business is subject to the Act. That means you must either set up a VRSP (or another type of group savings plan) or modify your existing plan in order to offer it to all your employees and deduct contributions directly from their pay.

Q2. Why is it called “voluntary” if it’s mandatory?

Even though it’s called a voluntary retirement savings plan, employers are required to offer it to their employees. Voluntary refers to the contributions—both employees’ and the employer’s.

Q3. What are the deadlines for setting up a VRSP?

The government has imposed the following deadlines:

  • 20 or more employees: by December 31, 2016 at the latest
  • 10 to 19 employees: by December 31, 2017 at the latest
  • 5 to 9 employees: to be specified by the government, but not before 2018

From a legal standpoint, it takes about 3 months to set up the plan, so the sooner you start, the better.

Other questions for our expert?
1-855-802-RVER (7837)
RVER@dsf.ca
*Only in Quebec

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