What a subscription year!
The last financial year was our third best year in subscriptions from the public in the Fonds de solidaritÉ FTQ's entire history. The total subscription amount collected during the year, including through lump sum payments and systematic savings, was $767 million.
The success of these subscription activities is in large part due to the structure the Fonds implemented to reach Quebeckers and raise their awareness of the importance of adequately preparing for their retirement. This awareness-raising work is at the core of our mission. The foundation of this structure includes:
A network of 2,083 local representatives (LRs) who promote, in their workplace, the Fonds' RRSP and its social and economic impact;
59 field offices that are open throughout Québec during the RRSP period to better serve the public;
An online subscription service available 24/7, for both individuals looking to become shareholders and existing shareholders who are looking to subscribe;
The Fonds' Shareholder Services Department (SSD), which provides live, personalized services to existing and future shareholders.
In the last year, 35,338 people became shareholders of the Fonds, which brought our shareholder count to 594,287 as at May 31, 2012.
Young people are a priority!
Investing for retirement as early as possible in adult life, and doing it regularly, is a habit that really pays off in the long run.
Therefore, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ tailored its communication tools during its last subscription campaign to specifically reach the greatest number of young Quebeckers. The 2011-2012 RRSP campaign alone allowed the Fonds to increase by 51% new subscriptions among young people aged 40 and under (compared to an increase of 12% during the 2010-2011 RRSP campaign).
In addition to retirement savings, what young adults are most interested in is the possibility of buying their first home with their Fonds RRSP by taking advantage of the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP). Therefore, over and above the advantageous tax savings the Fonds RRSP provides and the Fonds' contribution to Québec's economic development, there are other good reasons for subscribing to the Fonds that our shareholders really appreciate!
Social media is becoming a bigger and bigger part of young people's lives, so the Fonds de solidarité FTQ launched a cross-channel department to connect with them "in their environment," through the Internet and interactivity to facilitate their communications with the Fonds. For example, they now can access the Fonds' Facebook page. Yet another positive innovation by the Fonds to connect with the most Quebeckers possible!
Really understand our shareholders' needs
Our current and future shareholders are one of the stakeholders that are critical to the Fonds' activities. We are concerned about their needs and expectations, and we make sure to offer services and products that will completely satisfy them.
We communicate regularly with our shareholders - by letter, e-mail, telephone, in person through our LRs and our Shareholder Services, or even through surveys - to monitor their changing needs and expectations, create the necessary action plans, and adjust our products, services and practices accordingly.
Our LR network
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is privileged because it can count on a network of 2,083 local representatives (LRs) to promote the values and benefits of the Fonds RRSP to their work colleagues.
To support their activities, the Fonds provides them with a continuing education program. In addition, they are in constant communication with the Fonds' subscription coordinators and have access to a call centre. To equip them with even more sophisticated tools and allow them to have ongoing communications with the Fonds, the extranet site that is dedicated to them has undergone some major upgrades over the last financial year.
Carbon-neutral annual meetings
For a sixth year in a row, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ engaged Planetair to reduce the environmental impact of its annual general meeting. The quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to transportation, lodging and meals for the attendees that cannot be completely eliminated is evaluated. A monetary amount is then paid to offset every tonne of GHG and is invested in renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.
A more efficient voting process
At the last annual general meeting of shareholders, in September 2011, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ used for the first time a radiofrequency identification system (RFID) to reduce the amount of time and labour necessary to count ballots. What is involved in this system? RFID-enabled voting ballots (comprising an electronic chip and a tiny antenna) use a wireless network to transmit information to a reader located in the back room of the meeting site. This system automatically tallies each vote and its value (the vote's weight being based on the number of shares owned by each shareholder).
As such, counting and calculating the value of votes to elect the Fonds' directors, for example, was performed in mere seconds by two individuals (previously, this task required 20 people close to 30 minutes to accomplish). In addition to its efficiency, the system also reduces the risk of error.
The Fonds recycled ... its advertising campaign!
To give a second life to materials that would otherwise find themselves in the garbage, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ recycled the canvas used for its 2011 advertising campaign billboards. We hired Duel, a Québec-based enterprise that employs young people who are in social reintegration to do this work. This enterprise also contributes a percentage of its revenues to organizations that help children.
Therefore, in June 2011, the Fonds' employees and tenants of its Montréal head office had the opportunity to purchase shopping bags, messenger bags and agenda covers, all of which are durable, solid, multi-purpose and attractively designed. These purchases allowed them to make a positive gesture toward sustainable development while supporting victims of the Spring 2011 Richelieu flood, as all profits from the sale were donated to the Red Cross.
The Fonds is honoured
The Relationship Marketing Association held its 2011 Gala Flèches d'or in November last year at the Monument-National, which was attended by key figures from the relationship marketing and communications industry, as well as executives and employees of companies who are advertisers or suppliers. The goal of the gala is to recognize and promote excellence and creativity in relationship marketing in Québec.
We are pleased to point out that Denis Leclerc, Executive Vice-President, Shareholder Services of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, won the coveted title of Person of the Year. With this choice, the members of the jury wanted to highlight Mr. Leclerc's numerous achievements in relationship marketing over the years.
Some of these achievements include launching an efficient and effective call centre, creating various personalized documents for shareholders, developing the vast network of LRs in the workplace and creating the extranet dedicated to them, as well as various Web applications and interactive activities designed for them.
In addition, the Fonds' additional subscription form, used during the 2011 RRSP campaign, was awarded the Flèche d'argent.
FONDS DE SOLIDARITÉ FTQ
When the SÉCURIFONDSTM* product was developed - then launched one year ago - through its SÉCURIFONDS Inc. subsidiary and in partnership with SSQ, Life Insurance Company, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ first wanted to allow its retired shareholders to roll over the funds accumulated in an RRSP during their working life into an RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) designed especially for them.
Wanting to meet their customers' needs, SÉCURIFONDS Inc. and SSQ, Life Insurance Company made some changes in the second year of operations in order to:
- - Offer a more diversified range of products that better suit the various profiles of the Fonds' retired shareholders;
- - Reach more shareholders by adapting to their individual circumstances (retirement age, RRSP portfolio size, cashing out strategy).
SÉCURIFONDSTM is a trademark of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ used under licence by SÉCURIFONDS Inc. and SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc.