November 2020 Edition

Your plan members’ financial education. A sneak peek at Omni, our new mobile app. Year-end statements. Enhancement to the Multi-Manager Private Credit Fund, and more.

Vol. 20 – N˚10


GRS Insights

This November, we'll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month in Canada. Times are also difficult for many Canadians who are facing financial hardships because of COVID-19.

At Desjardins, financial education and cooperation have been an essential part of our business model and mission for the past 120 years. And in Group Retirement Services, we know that your plan members need to have the right skills and knowledge to manage their money successfully. That's why our communication and education strategies are designed with every plan member in mind—no matter how old they are, how much they know about managing money or how much retirement planning they've done. We believe that plan members are the key to their own financial empowerment.

Our targeted emails invite your plan members to get closer to financial wellness. They include basic tips, videos and tutorials to help improve their financial literacy.

Through our secure site (, plan members also have access to a wide range of information and retirement planning and education tools, including:

  • The Financial Wellness Centre, their go-to resource for personal finance information
  • The Education Centre, which offers your plan members online learning, tools and support to help them adopt healthy spending and savings habits
  • Our smart and user-friendly On Target Retirement tool to help them set goals and stay on track

Our Customer Contact Centre representatives have also been busy helping your plan members on their journey towards financial empowerment. Here's what two of your plan members had to say:

“ The agent answered all my questions and reassured me that I'm on the right track. Talking to a real person makes such a difference. ”

“ The person I talked to was really friendly and helpful. I don't know the first thing about investments, so it really felt good to speak with someone who knows a lot about investing. ”

In our September edition of The Essential, we shared with you how these communications and tools have proven extremely useful to your plan members in recent months. We hope we have contributed to their financial literacy.

For more insight about your plan members

Review our targeted reports and dashboards. They will help you with the day-to-day and long-term management of your plan by providing insight on plan members' needs and behaviours. For more information, you can reach out to your client relationship manager.

Your plan members

At Desjardins, we’re always working in our customers’ best interest by finding new ways to meet their needs. We hope to create a superior experience for your plan members by launching Omni in the coming months: our brand new mobile app for group plan members.

Your plan members will be able to manage their Desjardins group retirement savings and group insurance accounts, anytime, anywhere. They'll be able to make a variety of transactions and access a wide range of online services right from their phone.

Thanks to the Omni app, your plan members will be able to get the most out of their group plans and will soon have their health and financial wellness at their fingertips!

Stay tuned!

In order to align with the industry's naming convention, we'll be gradually replacing "participant" with "plan member" in all our communication channels and material (including emails and letters, forms, statements, plan member secure website, guides and brochures).

This change immediately applies to the URL that directs plan members to the English plan member website. The current URL – – will be replaced by

Don't worry. The current URL will remain active during the phasing out stage and until the change is fully implemented.

How to

In January 2021, we'll be sending out the year-end financial statements. We want to make sure that your plan members receive them, so it's important that their home and email addresses are up to date in our systems.

Please verify that all your plan members' home addresses are up to date and confirm the email addresses for those receiving electronic statements.

Going forward, why not remind your plan members to change their addresses themselves? All they have to do is log in to and click My profile.

Another option is for you to do it for them. Log in to and click Participant management. You can then search for the applicable participant and make the necessary changes.

If you need to make several changes, you can send them to us in a standard demographic file. For more information, please contact your dedicated plan administrator or call Plan Sponsor Services at 1-888-510-4762 This link launch your default phone software..

Are any of your plan members turning 71 this year? Be sure to review the "What you can do" section below to ensure a smooth transition for them.

Plan members sometimes forget that they need to convert their registered retirement savings planNote 1 ] into a retirement income solution by the end of the year they turn 71. If they don't, we'll transfer any non-locked-in amounts to a RRIF and any locked-in amounts to a LIF. And if their balance is less than 20% of maximum pensionable earnings for the year ($11,740 for 2020), they'll receive a lump-sum payment, which is taxable.

We send plan members in this situation a statement of options every September and try to encourage them to choose how they want to convert their savings, but there are always a few stragglers. We're hoping you can help us help them.

What you can do

Ensure that plan members' addresses are up to date so they receive their option statement.

Remind plan members that our retirement specialists can not only help them understand their options, but also help them choose the combination that will best suit their needs.

Important: To make sure these plan members receive all the contributions and tax benefits they're entitled to, send us their final contributions (remittances and payments) by December 1, 2020. By law, we will have to return any contributions received after December 31, 2020.

We make it easy for plan members to decide how their savings will take them into retirement. They can call our retirement specialists at 1-877-585-3033 This link launch your default phone software.. And if you have any questions, you can contact your dedicated administrator or Plan Sponsor Services at 1-888-510-4762 This link launch your default phone software..

Investments and financial markets

Desjardins Insurance is proud to announce the addition of the ACM Commercial Mortgage Fund to the composition of its Multi-Manager Private Credit Fund. This addition aims to slightly increase the Fund's long-term expected return while diversifying its Canadian commercial mortgage component. A target weight of 10% will be allocated to the ACM Fund, while the target weight attributed to the Addenda Fund will go from 30% to 20%, in order to maintain the Fund's target allocation in Canadian commercial mortgages at 30%.

The ACM Commercial Mortgage Fund aims to invest in a diversified portfolio of short duration mortgages secured by core and core plus commercial real estate assets located across Canada. The mortgage portfolio is diversified by geography and asset class to generate income while protecting capital. The fund focuses on primary markets (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver) and traditional asset classes (retail, office, industrial and multi-family).

About the Multi-Manager Private Credit Fund

This Fund is composed of a portfolio of underlying funds that seeks to maximize current income while limiting interest rate sensitivity. It invests in different Canadian and foreign fixed income funds, primarily targeting private strategies that can cover corporate lending, consumer lending, real estate debt and infrastructure debt, as well as other lower-liquidity assets such as bank loans. The Fund will also invest a limited portion of its assets in publicly traded fixed income securities.

For more information about these changes, do not hesitate to communicate with your client relationship advisor.

As part of its governance process, Desjardins Insurance evaluates each fund offered on its group retirement savings platform on a quarterly basis to ensure compliance with its selection criteria.

This evaluation is based on four main elements:

  • Personnel
  • Investment processes
  • Compliance with the stipulated management style
  • Performance

The result of this analysis is that some funds are placed on a watch list that is updated quarterly.

For each fund on the watch list, the areas of concern are identified and then closely monitored. Funds will remain on the watch list until the situation has been resolved, or in the event that the concerns persist, until they are no longer recommended or are removed from the platform.

In addition to producing the fund watch list, the governance process also aims to ensure that managers adhere to their existing investment policies. The result is the production of a General Certificate of Compliance and a Summary of Investment Policy Changes that is updated quarterly.

Our fund watch list, a list of funds no longer recommended, the General Certificate of Compliance, the Summary of Investment Policy Changes and all of the funds' investment policies are published quarterly on the plan sponsor services website. To access the site, go to Select Log on > Group retirement savings and enter your user ID and password. Then, from the home page, access the Your news section.

On September 14, 2020, Comgest informed us that after 21 years of service, Wojciech Stanislawski will be transitioning to a new role next year and he'll be taking on greater responsibilities for several important centralized projects at the firm. In his new role, Mr. Stanislawski will make a broader contribution to the firm as he'll be working on more strategic projects and will be part of Comgest's senior governance structure. The changes will be effective as of January 2021 and, from that date, Mr. Stanislawski will no longer be answerable to Comgest's Global Emerging Markets (GEM) team. He will no longer be registered as a portfolio manager on the public funds and mandates as of next year. Mr. Stanislwaski and the Global Emerging Markets team have been carefully preparing the transition and no impact is expected on the ongoing research and portfolio management activities given the breadth, depth and tenure of the GEM team. Mr. Stanislawski's direct responsibilities related to securities research have already been undertaken by the broader team for some time.

On October 1, 2020, MFS informed us of a change that will be made to its leadership team. On March 1, 2022, Michael W. Roberge, the current CEO, will become MFS's CEO and Chairman of the Board. At the same time, Robert J. Manning, its current executive chairman will retire after 36 years of loyal service within the company.

On September 30, 2020, Invesco informed us that Dave Jubb's role had changed from fund manager to portfolio strategist. However, the change simply means that he will no longer be named as a fund manager in the GTR portfolio.

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