Communicating the value of your pension plan to your employees


Communicating the value of your pension plan to your employees

Posted by CSS Pension Plan on October, 20 2023
CSS Pension Plan

Please check out this new resource curated just for our employer members.


You believe in your employees’ financial success now and well into their retirement years, and as such, you bring the CSS Pension Plan to your employees.




This very impactful and meaningful statement forms part of your overall employment value proposition. Let’s give you some tools to help you ensure that your value prop, as it applies to your CSS Pension Plan, resonates with your employee group.  


Participating in the CSS Pension Plan creates value for you and your employees. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits that providing a pension plan can offer: 

  1. Enhanced talent retention and attraction – You can differentiate yourself from other employers of choice through your participation in the CSS Pension Plan. This gives you a competitive advantage. Studies indicate that the type of retirement plan you offer your employees impacts your recruitment efforts1. 

  2. Reduced financial stress – Financial stress is a big deal, with 40% of Canadians indicating that money is a leading source of stress2.  Financial stress can lead to anxiety, depression and mental health challenges for your employees. Workplace retirement savings plans (and the education that often goes with these) can help your employees feel more confident in their current and future finances3. 

  3. Improved compensation efficiency – Compensation efficiency refers to how much money a person needs to earn to support their retirement income3. There are many types of retirement savings plans for an employer to consider. Each has its own contribution efficiency. CSS Pension Plan is very rare in Canada’s pension landscape. It is a large defined contribution pension plan that can access low-cost asset management and economies of scale, resulting in significantly lower fees for members. Research indicates that in large-scale pooled plans, like the CSS Pension Plan, every $1 of member contribution provides an average of $4.19 in retirement income compared to $1.94 from group RRSPs or small defined contribution plans (Common Wealth, 2018). 

You have a tremendous opportunity to connect with your employees along their career journey and help them understand their pension plan, the value of the plan, and how it can support their (and their loved ones') financial security in retirement. The CSS Pension Plan is an important part of your employee’s total rewards package, one that could be worth tens (hundreds, in some cases) of thousands of dollars in retirement. Over 60% of employers know that offering retirement plans helps with retention and attraction4. 


You can increase employee engagement, talent attraction and retention if your employees understand their pension plan (and other total reward components)5. Understanding one’s pension plan (and other financial matters) may help reduce financial stress, which could improve your employees' overall workplace and life experiences. In fact, employers that offer retirement savings plans report higher levels of productivity and employee wellness (Angus, 2022).  


Communication can drive engagement and it plays a key role in improving your employees' knowledge, skills and confidence in their present and future financial wellness.   


As you leverage your participation in the CSS Pension Plan to attract and retain talent – develop a strategy to help guide you. Identify your employment value proposition and develop an engagement strategy. Get to know your employees and what resonates with them, what your desired outcomes are for your strategy and what are your calls to action. As you put your plan into action, remember to be agile, willing to course correct and always on the lookout for improvements. 


These tools and tips can help you put your strategy into practice (FSRA, 2023):


1. Personalization

  • CSS takes a personalized approach to communicating with your employees (who are also our members). Members receive a “digital new member kit” when they join the pension plan, can access interactive investment decision tools, and engage with and learn from educational webinars, articles and reports.  

  • When you provide information to your employees that touches on the value of the pension and benefits that you offer, you will have a much bigger impact by leveraging a personal approach. Feel free to include links to CSS’ inspiring member videos and articles of interest that may speak to certain segments of your employee groups.


2. Step-by-step and just in time

  • We can only absorb so much information. We are only going to be interested in certain information at certain times in our careers and lives. We are human. As people trying to engage other people, we must remember this and therefore must take a structured approach and present information in a strategic step-by-step manner.

  • CSS uses a strategic approach to member engagement covering several stages in the employee member’s journey – new career (includes new hires and new members), mid-career, late-career and retirees (includes pre-, mid- and late-retirees). We provide relevant information through annual statements, life events and online articles – but we provide that information over time and work hard to not provide information overload.

  • Leverage CSS’ tools (e.g., videos, articles, sessions) at relevant times in your employee’s journey. Your employees will be more interested in information that they feel sets them up for success at that point in their journey. You will find that your employees will be more willing to hear what you are trying to share when there are certain life events happening (e.g,. starting a new job, relationship or family changes, when pension services change, retiring). CSS tools include, but are not limited to:
    • CSS Pension Plan Information Sessions – live webinars held at a time that you select; explains how the pension plan works, what resources are available and how to find additional information. This could be a great way to engage new employees and to provide a refresher to your current workforce.
    • CSS real member articles and videos – people feel connected to their pension plan when they see and hear from others of similar journeys.  
    • CSS It’s Your Plan series – live webinars held throughout the year covering a range of specific topics and points in an employee’s journey with the pension plan.  
    • One-on-one meetings with CSS Retirement and Pension Advisors.  

3. Connect with your employees through various channels 

  • Use the “right” channel at the right time:
    • Go analog (e.g., printed, in-person, direct mail) - with purpose. This approach will resonate with certain segments of your employee group. If you use this approach with purpose, a physical tactical communication can have a big bang.
    • Go digital (e.g., online, social media, GIFs, intranets). The dynamic nature of digital can lead to engagement, bite-sized learnings, a broader reach and modern-day collaboration. 

4. Consider workplace champions and pension plan advocates 

  • CSS Pension Plan has advocates and ambassadors across the co-operative and credit union systems. Tap into your own internal champions and leverage their voice, their story, and their passion for financial and retirement literacy, and for their CSS Pension Plan.  

  • Encourage peer-to-peer sharing programs.  

  • Invite CSS to your workplace to provide webinars – through the lens of your own employee group. 

For over 80 years, CSS has been part of the larger co-operative community and proudly serves and supports its employer members from across many industries in meeting their employment needs. We are here to serve you and support you in your efforts to serve others.  


1 Common Wealth, 2021. The value of a good pension: The business case for good workplace retirement plans.  
2 FP Canada, 2023. FP Canada™ 2023 financial stress index.
3 Common Wealth, 2018. The value of a good pension: How to improve the efficiency of retirement savings in Canada.  
4 Angus Reid Group, August 2022. Canadian Employee Pension Survey.  
5 Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), February 2023. A guide for employers – Communicating the value of your pension plan.  

Topics: News, Employers

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