National Association of Federal Retirees

National Association of Federal Retirees

October 28, 2014 17:19 ET

New Study Reveals Canadians' Retirement Perspectives and Plans

Sixty percent of Canadians not ready to comfortably retire

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 28, 2014) - Analysis from a new study on Canadian's retirement perspectives and plans released today reveals that sixty percent of Canadians on the cusp of retirement feel they have not saved enough to comfortably retire - and that more than 40 percent of those aged 65 and up have not put enough money aside for their retirements. Women and those with lower levels of household income were even less likely to have put money aside.

The report by the Conference Board of Canada titled A Survey of Non-retirees and Retirees in Canada: Retirement Perspectives and Plans, with the support of the National Association of Federal Retirees and Aon Hewitt, explores attitudes, knowledge and behaviours of employers and of individual Canadians on a variety of issues related to workplace and public retirement savings and pension plans, and on retirement readiness.

"The findings in the report clearly demonstrate some of the rather disturbing realities of retirement readiness among Canadians, which is a major concern for a large proportion of us," said Sylvia Ceacero, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Federal Retirees. "It underscores an urgent need for real solutions to help Canadians prepare for their retirements."

The study also revealed striking shifting realities of retirement income sources. Those currently retired are more likely to cite their past workplace retirement savings plans (41.5 percent) and public pension plans (27.5 percent) as their primary sources of retirement income, and they are less likely to say their primary source of retirement income is personal savings (14 percent). Those currently working have less confidence that workplace and public pension plans will be their primary sources of retirement income (20.7 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively).

Four in ten respondents indicated that they have a good understanding of the income they would receive from public pension plans. About one-third of the surveyed working Canadians simply did not know when they will retire completely from the paid labour force-and up to 19 percent of respondents say that they will never retire.

"Financial literacy plays an important role in how confident Canadians feel about their retirement plans, yet most rate their level of financial literacy as average at best", said Judith MacBride-King, the project lead for The Conference Board of Canada. "This is a clear indication that there is a need for employers and other stakeholders to consider how they can help Canadians get the information they need to make informed decisions regarding their financial future. We hope this study will help raise awareness on the issues and encourage greater action on the part of employers, governments and individuals themselves."

"The data and perspectives in the study should become a go-to resource for public policy- makers across all orders of government, as well as for employers, plan providers, and Canadians themselves to act upon together, to build a sustainable retirement income security strategy for all Canadians," added Ceacero.

The report also explores the experiences and perspectives of current retirees-examining a variety of issues that include how retirees are currently funding their retirement, their views on their financial wellbeing, and their expectations for the future. Retirees were also asked to reflect on their experiences and provide any insights regarding retirement readiness that would be helpful to younger workers and their employers.

The Conference Board of Canada launched, in 2014, a comprehensive study into the experiences and perspectives of employers and individual Canadians to help inform organizational and public policy and contribute to the ongoing discourse on these critical issues.

The study involved 177 employer respondents from a cross-section of public and private sector organizations and 1,656 individual Canadians aged 18 to over 65 years including labour force participants and retirees from across the country.

Download the report at http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=6544 and http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=6540.

The National Association of Federal Retirees is the largest national advocacy organization representing active and retired members of the federal public service, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and retired federally-appointed judges, as well as their partners and survivors. With 185,000 members including more than 50,000 veterans and their families, the Association has a 50-year history of providing independent advocacy on issues affecting the financial security and health and well-being of our members and Canadians.

Contact Information

  • Rosemary Pitfield
    Director, Communications and Advocacy
    Office: 613-745-2559 ext 225
    Mobile: 613-323-0872