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CLHIA is pleased to respond to the New Brunswick Literacy Secretariat's consultation paper, engageNB Literacy

Release Date: 07/29/2015
Staff Reference: Leslie Byrnes

July 29, 2015

Ms. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell and Ms. Liane Roy
Literacy co-chairs
Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
New Brunswick Literacy Secretariat
PO 6000, Fredericton NB E3B 5H1

Dear Ms. Trenholme Counsell and Ms. Roy,

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) is pleased to respond to the New Brunswick Literacy Secretariat's consultation paper, engageNB Literacy.

Established in 1894, CLHIA is a voluntary trade association that represents the collective interests of its member life and health insurers which, together, account for 99% of the life and health insurance in force in Canada. Our members are major contributors to New Brunswick's economy, with $10.6 billion in capital investments as of 2013, and they support the financial well-being of New Brunswickers by providing a wide range of financial security products. During 2013, life and health insurers made benefit payments of more than $1.7 billion, or roughly $33.4 million a week, to New Brunswick policyholders and beneficiaries.

The life and health insurance industry commends New Brunswick for the current consultation on literacy and agrees that essential skills like reading, writing and technological aptitude will support a productive workforce and benefit the economy.

We believe that financial literacy is a key component of literacy and are committed to providing New Brunswickers with accessible and clear information on our products and services so that they can make informed financial decisions. Financial literacy gives people the skills they need to work toward their financial goals. As Count me in, Canada, our national financial literacy strategy states, "Just as being able to read opens a world of possibilities, financial literacy enables you to better understand financial matters on both a personal and large scale."

We recommend that financial literacy be included in New Brunswick's literacy strategy and incorporated into any school, community or workplace program that may be developed. To this end, we suggest the Literacy Secretariat consider coordinating efforts with organizations involved in financial literacy initiatives. In particular, we noted the excellent work being done by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) and the Financial Aid Office at the University of New Brunswick.

The FCNB provides information and tools, like the blog "For What It's Worth", to engage New Brunswickers with relevant financial literacy materials that support the objective of life-long learning. The Financial Aid Office provides money management information, advice and aid to students from all financial backgrounds. Representatives from each of these organizations participate on the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy.

The Canadian life and health insurance industry appreciates the opportunity to submit comments on engageNB Literacy. We would be pleased to provide further information or discuss our comments with you.


Original signed by

Leslie Byrnes
Vice President, Distribution and Pensions