HR
July 2, 2015

Plan of action: Retiring from public service

Retirement planning requires a great deal of time and patience. It’s also vital to have an ally in your corner when preparing to make the journey into post-work life. Since 1986, the Retirement Planning Institute (RPI) has helped many public sector employees to ensure that the transition to retirement is as smooth as possible. Léon Touchette, president of RPI, speaks about RPI’s history, the services they offer, and how outgoing public sector employees can benefit from them.

 

Why was the Retirement Planning Institute founded?

RPI started providing general and personal development training services in 1986. The company decided to specialize in the delivery of three-day comprehensive retirement planning seminars in 1988 to serve the growing need for these seminars for public sector employers, more specifically the Federal Public Service and Crown Corporations. Since 1988, RPI delivers only retirement seminars, and is the largest provider of retirement seminars to the Public Service.

What services does RPI offer?

RPI coordinates the services of a team of professionals in their respective fields to deliver retirement seminars comprising pension, financial, legal and physical as well as psychological aspects. The three-day retirement seminar is our flagship.

In 2001, RPI expanded its retirement seminars services by developing its two-day retirement seminar tailored for executives. In that year, RPI also developed the “Planning My Future” seminars to respond to a growing need for planning seminars for participants aged 20-40.

In 2005, RPI further expanded its seminars services by developing a retirement seminar for members of Defined Contribution Plans (as opposed to Defined Benefit Plans such as the public service pension plan).

Also in 2005, RPI developed its “Ready to Retire” seminar for the federal public service that assists the participants in dealing with the final decisions and administrative requirements at the time of retirement. RPI speakers acquired this unique expertise by working very closely with a team of Actuaries and Pension Administrators. This team is the only team that is contracted to perform the compensation advisor duties relating to the Pension Plan (PSSA) for three public service employers, and has been for over 15 years. We are unaware of any other companies providing this unique seminar.

How do you help pre-retirees make the transition from work life to retirement?

Our interactive training seminar provides participants with information that will increase their knowledge and awareness of the significant factors that could affect their financial security, physical well-being, legal status and mental health in retirement. Through a balance of theory, examples, handouts, exercises, references and discussions, we provide the tools necessary for planning a successful retirement.

Our seminars have been designed to provide participants with the tools and knowledge they need to design personalized retirement plans that will carry them successfully into retirement. In particular, we aim for our participants to:

• Learn about the Federal Public Service Pension Plan;
• Become better prepared financially for retirement by establishing a personal action plan and acquire knowledge of the various sources of retirement income (CPP, OAS), investment instruments such as RRSPs, TFSA’s, RRIFs, annuities and strategies for minimizing taxes;
• Understand and recognize the impact of taxes, powers of attorney and wills on one’s estate;
• Acquire knowledge of the effects of aging on the body, effects of healthy nutrition, how to control stress and stay physically fit; and,
• Prepare psychologically for retirement, how to manage time and consider alternative living arrangements.

How are you responding to the Canadian School of Public Service’s recent announcement that they will no longer deliver their retirement seminars?

Since 1988, RPI has been offering its retirement planning seminars which competed with the School’s retirement seminars. In recent years, for its National Capital Region (NCR) retirement seminars, the School has been retaining RPI to provide the majority of its speakers. Early in 2015, the School advised us that they would be retiring their retirement seminars as of March 31, 2015 both in the NCR and the Regions.

With the experience of having delivered thousands of retirement seminars and the capacity to deliver more, it was a natural fit for RPI to fill the void left by the School. For the NCR, we simply added seminars to our existing calendar. For the Regions, we are in the process of creating a schedule in various cities. We plan on releasing the regional calendar on our website by the end of June. The calendar will start as of September 2015.

Why is it important for public service employees to have a proper retirement plan in place?

Research has shown that the transition to retirement is a challenging time in the life of an individual. It is, therefore, critical for individuals to have a retirement plan that will carry them successfully and smoothly through this transition. Planning for retirement reduces anxiety on the part of employees, and for this reason, it is worthwhile for organizations to ensure that their employees have access to the necessary training. This has never been truer than it is today.

RPI’s retirement planning seminar provides pre-retirees with the tools and the knowledge they need to design individualized retirement plans that will carry them successfully into retirement.

 

For more information about the Retirement Planning Institute, please visit http://www.rpi-ipr.com/.

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