Freedom 55, 65 or 75? Majority of Canadians Worry about Retirement Income

Save more and spend less. Seems like simple, straightforward advice for saving for the golden years, right?

The reality is an aging work force, longer life expectancy and declining birth rates are changing the retirement equation for Canadians. Those factors combined with stagnant and unpredictable economic conditions for the foreseeable future have majority of Canadians worried about being financially ready for retirement.

So, how do Canadians feel about their pension or retirement plans?

Canadians’ perceptions of their pension or retirement plans depend on whether they work in the private or public sector, are unionized or non-unionized as well as the type of plan. Overall, two thirds of working Canadians report being very or somewhat familiar with their own pension plan. Familiarity increases the closer we get to retirement as more than three quarters of those aged 55+ say they are very or somewhat familiar with their plan versus less than half of 18-34 year olds who do so. Interestingly, men are more likely than women to be familiar with the own pension plan and the type of plan (e.g. defined benefit, defined contribution, etc.).

Many Canadians appear to be uninformed about their pension plan with less than half of employed Canadians saying they understand the information their pension plan provides or what they need to do to keep their pension records up-to-date. Additionally, those respondents with children report significantly less familiarity with and understanding of their pension plan than their counterparts without kids. As the public debate over the future of pension plans rages on, check out more trends and insights for 2014 in our latest paper “Canadian Attitudes to Pension Plans”.