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Meredith Brown wanted to make sure that her company had the best group RSP possible.

As vice-president of human resources and national operations for Coinamatic, she guided her company through a review of its plan options early last year that led Coinamatic to switch providers.

"We discovered that there were significant advantages available, such as broader investment choice and significantly lower management fees," Ms. Brown said. "We also now have greater employee support and planning advice with our new providers."

Is it time to take action on your group RSP? With a little push, perhaps your HR executives can find similar improvements for your company. If your plan isn't up to par and I will show you how to find out you need to get your company to make it better.

Many Canadians working for mid- to large-sized companies have a group RSP or a defined contribution pension plan. These plans have largely replaced the traditional defined benefit pension plans, which feature steady monthly income. As important as the pension might have been for your parents, the group RSP could be just as important to you.

So why is it that so many people don't pay close attention to their company pension?

By the time you are retired, if you have had a group RSP in place at your (various) workplaces over the span of your work life, it could easily be worth several hundred thousand dollars. This is serious money, and a serious part of your retirement plan. Here are some of the key issues you need to consider:

So what do you do if you think your plan has high fees, poor investment options or poor performance?

You need to encourage your senior management and HR executives to review the company's plan and to make it better. It can be done fairly easily. To help with the process, check out "5 Tips to Getting a Great Group RSP for Your Company." Send these tips to your HR executives and ask them to read them. Hopefully they will help them to realize the easy ways they can lower fees and get better investment options for themselves and for you.

This article was written by Ted Rechtshaffen, President, TriDelta Financial, and first appeared on GlobeandMail.com


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