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Gayle Richmond, our Administration Team Leader, has been travelling from Saskatoon, SK to Anglemont, BC for her annual summer vacation since 2014. This year, she decided to make a few stops to visit some of our employer members along the way. With over 350 co-op and credit union employers who belong to the Plan scattered across eight different provinces and territories – and with Gayle often being the first point of contact for many employers – the opportunity to connect in-person was one that couldn't be passed up. Here she shares her story of her journey out west.
A couple of years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to tie in some work and visit some of our employers along the way to Anglemont, my summer vacation destination. A large part of my job involves assisting HR and payroll departments with administering the CSS Pension Plan to their employees, so while I've talked to a number of employer administrators on the phone throughout the years, I wanted to put a face to the name and meet them in person to create more of a personal relationship. This can be challenging when we serve so many employers in so many different locations.
I planned my route and stopped at as many employers as possible over a 1,900 km stretch. I realized there is a lot of highway in between some of the locations and spent a lot of time driving; however, it was worth it in the end.
I stopped to meet with seven different employers as I worked my way to the north Shuswap, making some observations along the way:
Along with reveling in the diverse scenery of where our members live and work, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with all of the employers, seeing how they go about their day-to-day work and getting feedback on the Plan from their perspective. I was able to answer some questions, drop off information about our employer administration procedures, retirement planning service, and myCSSPEN for members, where members can register and view their CSS account online.
We also discussed some of the work the Plan will be doing in the coming months and years to engage younger members with their financial future. While retirement may not be the most exciting topic, the Plan is consistently working to expand our digital presence to help strengthen our relationship with younger cohorts and make Plan information more accessible to our members who span from coast to coast to coast. As with any change, this will take time but we appreciate the employer feedback and feel we are on the right track.
It's a two-way partnership between the Plan and employers to help members prepare for retirement, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet a few of our employer administrators in person. While I put on a lot of miles, I enjoyed every minute of it!