Common Good Retirement initiative for not-for-profit employees

The Sport Matters Group is supporting a new initiative that aims to secure a better retirement for Canada’s nonprofit and charitable workers.  More than 850,000 people – almost half of the sector – do not have access to a workplace retirement plan, and many others are in lower-quality, high-fee plans. 

A coalition of prominent nonprofit leaders, foundations, and retirement security specialists is spearheading the Common Good Retirement Initiative.  This is an exciting opportunity to engage and consult the nonprofit sector about its collective needs, constraints, and attitudes on retirement saving.  The aim is to offer nonprofit employees and freelancers a convenient, low-cost and effective way to save for their retirement, as well as provide nonprofit employers an easy way to help their employees build long-term financial security.

The national, portable plan would combine the principles of the world’s best pension plans with a more flexible design to reflect the needs of today’s workforce.  Governed by a board of directors with a legal duty to put members’ interests first, Common Good would be centered on the following features:

  • Accessibility:  Available to freelance, part-time, and full-time nonprofit sector workers whose employers sign up for the Plan

  • Portability:  Allows members to continue saving in the plan, even if they change jobs or employment status, or relocate

  • Affordability:  Offers lower fees and professionally-curated investments structured to deliver the most retirement income for every dollar the member or employer contributes

  • Flexibility:  Employees’ contributions would be flexible, and employer contributions optional

  • Inclusion:  As a community-based plan, spouses and common-law partners would also be eligible to participate

We are asking everyone in the sector to complete a 5-10 minute survey at that will help us better understand the nonprofit and charitable sector’s retirement needs and offerings.  If your organization is able to distribute the survey (available in French and English) via your mailing list, please email so a unique link can be provided to you.

The sector engagement process will take place over the next six months with a decision to be made in Fall 2018 on whether to move forward with implementation.  Once the initiative secures sufficient support from employers and associations willing to offer the retirement plan, Common Good would be built and made available to the nonprofit sector as early as 2019.  Let’s help make it a reality!

We are fortunate to have the following leaders championing the initiative:

  • Atkinson Foundation

  • Alison Brewin, Executive Director, Vantage Point

  • Alan Broadbent, CEO, Avana Capital, and Chairman and Founder, Maytree

  • Peter Chapman, Senior Advisor, SHARE

  • Owen Charters, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada

  • Adil Dhalla, Executive Director, Centre for Social Innovation

  • Franca Gucciardi, CEO, McCall MacBain Foundation

  • Hamilton Community Foundation

  • Rahima Mamdani, Vice President, Human Capital, United Way Greater Toronto

  • Maytree

  • Metcalf Foundation

  • Meghan Moore, CEO, Loran Scholars Foundation

  • Elizabeth Mulholland, CEO of Prosper Canada

  • Colette Murphy, Executive Director, Atkinson Foundation

  • Lee Rose, Managing Director, Community Knowledge Exchange

  • Paulette Senior, President & CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation

  • Lindsay Hugenholtz Sherk, Senior Leader, Sport Matters

  • Richard Shillington, Social Policy Expert and Researcher

  • John Stapleton, Innovation Fellow, Metcalf Foundation, and Principal, Open Policy Ontario

We want to hear from nonprofit employers, associations, and unions who would be interested in offering Common Good to their employees and members.  You can visit to learn more about the retirement plan and get in touch with the team.

Attached for your information is a FAQ. Please take a moment to complete the survey and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.