Management's Role in Helping Canadian Workers Retire Comfortably
When it comes to retirees in Canada, business management teams are doing all they can to make sure workers retire comfortably.
According to Statistics Canada, the average worker in the Great White North retires from the workforce at age 62.
Whether it's pre-planning or winding down the work schedule a little at a time, your management department can help employees successfully phase out work life and happily enter retirement.
Here are just a few ways your team can manage its retirees and send them into retirement relaxed and ready.
Helping Employees Head into Retirement Gracefully
It is your management team's responsibility to ensure that each and every employee who retires from your business is adequately prepared for what lies ahead.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps your business can take to ensure your employees head into retirement gracefully and financially prepared.
For starters, your management team can encourage all employees that are of age to start saving for retirement as soon as possible. In addition, scheduling appointments to discuss retirement benefits and plans is also helpful.
Finally, it's always wise to promote good health and wellbeing throughout the workplace.
Generally speaking, healthy employees have an easier time transitioning into retirement because they don't require immediate medical services and therefore can extend their retirement savings and benefits.
Retirement in Canada vs. the United States
When it comes to retirement in Canada versus the United States, there are some key differences in terms of retirement plans and government sponsored retirement programs from one country to the next.
If your management team is trying to find the best retirement plan for its employees, comparisons with the U.S. can be helpful.
As the following article shows, online “Retirement calculators” also come in handy when determining lifetime retirement values.
With that said, here are just a few differences between Canadian and American retirement plans and benefits:
• RRSP vs. the Standard IRA - With a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, a soon-to-be Canadian retiree receives tax deductions on yearly contributions, which is beneficial for compounded returns. Although the IRA works much the same way, American retirees have a much smaller maximum contribution.
• TFSA vs. the Roth IRA - Canada's Tax-Free Savings Account allows for early retirement planning. With the TFSA, Canadian employees can begin making annual contributions as early as age 18. The Roth IRA also allows for early contributions, but the contribution limit is smaller for American employees over the age of 50.
• OAS vs. Social Security Benefits - Canada's Old Age Security benefits differ from America's Social Security benefits in many ways. One major difference is OAS benefits include paycheck provisions because they are considered a form of taxable income. Social Security differs in that it doesn't merely provide retirement benefits, but disability income and healthcare benefits as well.
Other Types of Canadian Retirement Benefits
There are other retirement benefits exclusive to Canada that your management team can provide its retiring employees.
These benefits include Guaranteed Income Supplement plans for low-income individuals and Allowance benefits for spouses of Old Age Security plan holders.
There are also international benefits for Canadians who have lived and/or worked outside of the country.
With all of the potential retirement plans and benefits available, it's important for your management team to choose the right route for its employees approaching retirement.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including retirement basics and human resources.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.