Press release

Annual General Meeting of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ: Working to Ensure a Decent Retirement for All Quebecers

The Fonds wants to encourage 100,000 new shareholders without a pension plan or earning less than $55,000 to save for a better retirement

Montréal, October 15, 2022 – At the Annual General Meeting of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ held today, management unveiled the 2022 Operations and Sustainability Report which illustrates how the Fonds' teams have distinguished themselves over the past year by having a measurable impact on various socio-economic sectors. The organization also presented its vision and priorities for the next five years.

"My Board colleagues and I have been working with the Fonds' management to develop a new strategic plan. Under the leadership of Janie Béïque, the team has defined our vision for the next five years, while ensuring that we remain firmly rooted in our core values," said Fonds Chairman Claude Séguin. "We also firmly believe that the RRSP+, which encourages workers to save, is a vital tool that allows us to take concrete action today to prevent a retirement crisis and to ensure that companies are able to attract and retain workers."

The Fonds' president and CEO, Janie Béïque, explained that helping workers save for retirement has been a key part of the organization's mission since its inception and that an ambitious objective has been set for the next five years. During this time frame, the Fonds' goal is to encourage 100,000 new shareholders without a pension plan or earning less than $55,000 to save.

"At the Fonds, we don't want to see people work so hard their whole lives only to end up with so little at retirement. That's why we consider savings to be a real issue that must be kept on the social and economic agenda in Québec. We need to keep this issue in the spotlight so that we don't fall further behind Ontario in terms of seniors' wealth by encouraging workers to put money aside today and by making it as easy as possible for them to save for retirement," continued Ms. Béïque.

According to recent data from Statistics Canada, the average income of people aged 65 and over is almost $9,000 higher in Ontario than in Québec ($49,062 versus $40,331).

Also, 40% of retired people in Québec receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), which is reserved for low-income retirees. Only Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick have proportionally more GIS recipients than Quebec. We must therefore make it a priority to encourage more people to save for retirement.

Social returns are just as important

"In our business, we obviously need to generate a financial return because this is what allows our shareholders-savers to prepare for their future. But financial return alone is not enough anymore. We were created to play a role in society, to contribute to resolving economic and social issues. And so we will quantify and measure our impact on improving these issues. If we want to have a positive impact on the future of generations to come, we must seek a balance between financial and social return," said Ms. Béïque.

In order to do this, the Fonds has identified five themes, in addition to retirement savings, on which its impact will be measured going forward:

  • Sustainable real estate : by developing even more socially-oriented real estate projects, including affordable housing, as well as sustainably built projects.
  • Sustained SME growth: by stimulating sustainable SME growth and protecting head offices in Québec.
  • Attracting and retaining talent: by helping businesses face labour challenges.
  • Just technology transition: by modernizing Québec SMEs through technology while ensuring that this transition is achieved by involving employees.
  • Just environmental transition: by fighting climate change in a manner that takes employees' interests into account. 

"At the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, we don't want to be stage managers. We roll up our sleeves, we are invested in the success of our partner companies, and we are taking action on the retirement crisis. We always focus on people," concluded Janie Béïque.

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ invests to build a better society by channelling the savings of its 748,371 shareholders into development and risk capital investments to help Québec transition to a green economy, to a human-centred world of work, and to a healthier society. The Fonds offers businesses unsecured financing and strategic support. With $17.4 billion in net assets as at May 31, 2022, the Fonds has supported 3,620 partner companies and 296,927 jobs.