Canada Life

Canada Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike.


Thanks to pension reforms, there are now more options for using your private pension pot. Since April 2015, some people over 55 have greater freedom in how they can access their pension pots. Rather than pension savings being inaccessible and annuities being the default option for most consumers, the freedoms opened up a range of other options.

With this freedom was predicted a rise in the drawdown market (something that certainly came to pass – though it by no means meant the death of annuities) and, as such, a wider range of providers and asset managers were presented with an opportunity to strengthen their presence in this area of the market.

The call to action

As a result of the changes to the annuities industry through the Budget 2014 as well as changes to death benefits, Canada Life were developing a new retirement income proposition (CanRetire) in a bid to both safeguard their standing in the annuities market and maximise gain from subsequent opportunities.

With a framework already in place there was a need to:

  • Identify any potential red flags and / or sources of real enthusiasm / points of true differentiation from the target adviser audience;
  • Ensure the Canada Life business differentiators (technical expertise / support and ease of doing business) were achieved through a thorough appreciation of what advisers get, expect and require from retirement propositions in 2015 and beyond;
  • Provide insight to enable Canada Life to finalise the fund range to be made available through the proposition – ensuring it met adviser and client requirements;
  • Understand how the proposition could best be positioned with target adviser audiences (including identification of key messages for communication and support); and
  • Understand (within the context of evolving adviser retirement planning processes and competitor innovation) what was required to ensure the CanRetire proposition stood out.

The outcome

The study provided Canada Life with usable recommendations on how best to refine what was a well-received proposition and to point to the most effective message, levers and modes of communication most appropriate to engage with different types of adviser.

"I have been working with Phil and the team for a number of years now. Over the years they have become an important component to the market insight and research process that I follow, I have no hesitation in recommending them to others. For quality, efficiency and reliability you can rely on them. You also have the added bonus of fantastic and creative personalities that cuts through in everything the team do, making the work we do even more enjoyable! Long may it continue."

Nick Harding, Strategy Implementation Director, Canada Life