By Ben Carpenter
Director of Talent Acquisition, Common Wealth Retirement

In 2016 Anxiety Canada wrote about the importance of financial wellness, citing research that stated 47% of Canadians felt the workplace was their largest share of daily stress with the leading factor being workload. While the need to get work done can sometimes be stressful, prolonged pressure can have significant consequences. Mind Beacon estimates that for every 100 employees, there is an employer cost of $181,350 for loss of productivity due to presenteeism, the cost of working while under stress or illness. There are also issues outside of the office…


By Alex Mazer
Co-founder and Co-CEO, Common Wealth Retirement

The sequence in which to introduce employee benefits is one of the most important questions for HR leaders to consider in a growing organization. Here’s a common question we often hear as part of these conversations: “Aren’t retirement benefits something I should add later, once we have health benefits and other employee perks in place?”

Not necessarily. There is often a strong business case for putting retirement benefits in early as part of a total compensation package. If more employers internalized this case, we would see more small and medium-sized employers…


Don’t let the bank make more from your money than you do

By Ben Carpenter
Director of Talent Acquisition, Common Wealth Retirement

What wisdom, you ask? The foresight to save a little money each month in a way that didn’t (noticeably) cost me anything, when I was busy living life as a carefree millennial. Life happens fast, and I wish someone had explained how to invest my money, to make more of it — and prevent the bank from taking half of it.

Hindsight Is 20/20

During my first job in telesales back in 2002, I was introduced to my first group RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). The agent from the bank came in with…


By Jim Keohane, Alex Mazer & Jonathan Weisstub

Jim Keohane recently retired from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), where he served for 20 years as CEO and, before that, Chief Investment Officer. Under Jim’s leadership, HOOPP delivered the highest ten-year returns among global pension fund peers. While Jim was CEO, HOOPP and Common Wealth Retirement collaborated on a number of projects, including research on the value of a good workplace retirement plan.

Alex Mazer and Jonathan Weisstub are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Common Wealth Retirement.

When discussing group retirement plans with employers, one topic that frequently comes…


What happens to group retirement plans after employees leave?

In choosing or managing a workplace retirement plan, one question that employers should be asking is what happens to employees after they leave or retire.

For most Group RRSPs and TFSAs provided by big insurers and banks in Canada, the answer is former employees get moved into an individual product with higher fees, greater complexity, and less consumer financial protection.

It is not uncommon for big insurers and banks to double or triple the fees people pay when they leave their employer’s group plan. …


Last month, Common Wealth marked its fifth anniversary. We thought this would be a good time to reflect on the past five years and share some of what we’ve learned about tackling the retirement security challenge through a mission-driven, entrepreneurial company.

We started the business not with a product in mind, but with a problem: how to help the growing number of people without workplace pensions build income in retirement. This problem is arguably even more pressing in 2020 than it was in 2015. …


Ideas for protecting and strengthening household financial security

Acknowledgement: This brief emerged from a conversation, held in late March 2020, among a number of individuals and organizations who work on issues of household financial security. It is written by Alex Mazer and Jonathan Weisstub, cofounders of Common Wealth, with the support of their colleagues, but also incorporates insights and ideas from Maytree (Alan Broadbent, Elizabeth McIsaac, Garima Talwar Kapoor), Prosper Canada (Elizabeth Mulholland), Commonwealth (formerly D2D Fund) (Tim Flacke), the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program (Ida Rademacher, Karen Andres), Social Capital Partners (Jon Shell), Dr. Jennifer Robson of Carleton University, and André Côté (independent public policy consultant). …

Common Wealth Retirement

Fast-growing, mission-driven fintech company aimed at helping Canadians of all income levels achieve a financially secure retirement

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