According to a CROP survey conducted for the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, close to one out of two workers will see their standard of living decline once they retire. In the midst of a period of debate about the pension system, these findings confirm the urgent need to take action. In fact, the survey reveals a number of statistics that are cause for concern.
No “golden retirement” for the less affluent
Less affluent workers, i.e. those with annual household incomes of $60,000 or less, will have the hardest time making ends meet after they retire. Over 55% of these workers indicated that they won’t be able to enjoy the same standard of living once they’ve left the workforce. The survey also shows that 35% of workers don’t put anything aside for their retirement. This percentage is even more disturbing among workers with annual household incomes of under $40,000, 54% of whom say they aren’t saving for their retirement years.
However, there is a new factor that could encourage employees to save; some 85% of respondents indicated that they would pay into a pension plan if their employer introduced one. According to Florent Francoeur, CHRP, Ordre President and CEO, “that’s a good sign for the voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSP) that are expected to be resurrected in the spring.”
A breath of optimism among young workers
Although most workers view their financial situation at retirement with a fairly jaundiced eye, young workers (aged 18 to 34) are more optimistic. Over 30% of these respondents think they’ll be able to maintain their standard of living when it’s time to retire. In fact, some 60% reported that they’ve already started saving for their retirement. When asked if they would participate in a pension scheme offered by their employer, eight out of ten said they would.
Awaiting the D’Amours report
One thing is certain, retirement is a complex issue, as the survey findings clearly confirm. In this respect, the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés is eagerly awaiting the conclusions of the committee of experts, chaired by Alban D’Amours, mandated by the Quebec government to study the Quebec pension system.
“Like most industrialized countries, Quebec and the rest of Canada are experiencing a veritable retirement crisis. But the issue has an impact on more than just workers and organizations, and that’s why it’s crucial that society as a whole does some serious soul-searching about retirement. Although the financial aspect is fundamental, the debate should be expanded to examine other avenues, such as balancing work and retirement for instance,” concluded Francoeur.
For an interview with Florent Francoeur, please contact Justine Delisle.
To learn more…
Click here for the complete survey results (in French only).