A ‘regressive’ and ‘baffling’ move: CLHIA walks back compensation disclosure guidelines



Decision kills effort to improve transparency in the group benefits sector, say industry media

So much for transparency.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) represents some of the largest financial services providers in Canada, with more than $200 billion in assets.

And in recent days, the CLHIA announced that it would be scrapping its planned guidance on enhanced compensation disclosure within the group benefits and retirement services sectors.

The guidelines would have taken effect July 1, and would have required advisors to disclose all direct compensation and any in-kind compensation over $5,000 per year—with some in the industry believing that even those guidelines did not go far enough.

At Link Investment Management, we believe in full fee transparency, and we practice what we preach. Apparently, others don’t feel that way.

“The CLHIA claims to ‘help Canadians to protect themselves and their families against financial risks,’ but is apparently unable to provide even the most basic leadership in the protection of Canadians,” says Brian McClennon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Link Investment Management.

“This is 2019. Transparency should be a given—especially against a backdrop of growing financial illiteracy among Canadians. Is this the CLHIA’s idea of protection?”

Link is redefining the way employer-sponsored compensation plans are managed. Our proprietary “triple threat” software consolidates savings, equity and health plans onto a single platform—and our robo-advisor algorithm, use of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and passive investing approach mean cost savings and lower fees for small to midsize businesses.

At Link, we also operate without secrecy. We are entirely up front, fully transparent, about fees.

“The decision to withdraw the guideline, which is effective immediately, puts an end to an effort to improve transparency in the group benefits sector that faced resistance within the industry,” remarked industry publication Investment Executive, reporting on the CLHIA announcement.

Adds Mr. McClennon: “The Canadian Securities Administration and IIROC implemented this basic level of disclosure years ago, after consulting with licensed advisors—and the result was more resilient and efficient capital markets.

“This is a regressive and, frankly, quite baffling move by the CLHIA.”
SHARE:
Financial Wellness Benefit Plans

Create a culture of caring