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Retirement crisis hit after a slow build of more than 30 years

Retirement crisis hit after a slow build of more than 30 years To the casual observer the retirement crisis might seem as if it arrived unannounced, suddenly knocking on the door to steal the golden years of millions of workers and their families. However, those in the know will tell you no crisis more than 30 years in the making just shows up one day. Rather, it was ...more

Public pension model meets today’s labour realities: CCPA’s Block

Public pension model meets today’s labour realities: CCPA’s Block Building a comprehensive retirement income solution around a public model is a practical response to current employment and labour mobility realities, says economist Sheila Block. For many Canadians, the cradle-to-grave type of employment that one’s grandfather might have enjoyed has morphed into a pattern of full-time, part-time, contract and temporary work. Today’s workers ride a wave ...more

Quebec coalition plans for the long game against Bill 3

Quebec coalition plans for the long game against Bill 3 Mark Ranger recalls that day in September when thousands of Quebec municipal workers took to the streets of Montreal to protest Bill 3. The spirit of that day lives on, he says, despite the passing of the bill that unilaterally diminishes retirement benefits. “For the first time you had all the municipal workers in the streets ...more

ORPP addresses retirement income anxieties: Mitzie Hunter

ORPP addresses retirement income anxieties: Mitzie Hunter The provision of adequate retirement income is more than an academic and policy debate, it’s a real-life topic of conversation and concern around the dinner tables of Ontario, says Mitzie Hunter, the minister in charge of ushering in the province’s new pension plan. When talking to Ontarians, Hunter, the province’s associate minister of finance, finds that ...more

In Conversation with Jim Tomkins, Chair of the SHEPP Board of Trustees

Jim Tomkins is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) Board of Trustees for 2014. As chair he serves the needs of over 52,000 Plan members working in the healthcare industry across Saskatchewan. Jim is a long standing member of the SHEPP Board of Trustees, and we recently caught up with him ...more

Retirees mobilize to maintain promised benefits

Retirees mobilize to maintain promised benefits Retirees probably have better things to do than congregate on the corner of Queen and Bay at 5 p.m. on a workday, but on an early fall day earlier this year that’s just what Jeanie Campbell and others were doing. They weren’t there to see the sights of the big city. They were there to register ...more

The lost wisdom of grandparents found again in auto enrol

The lost wisdom of grandparents found again in auto enrol Canadians are increasingly being reminded of the importance of saving for retirement. Yet, despite such efforts, savings remain dismally low, driving what pension experts are calling a looming crisis of inadequate retirement income. The verdict seems to be in that left to their own devices, Canadians won’t voluntarily put money aside for retirement. Certainly immediate demands ...more

Lack of adequate retirement income push people to GIS – ARIA post

Lack of adequate retirement income push people to GIS – ARIA post Some traditions are just too good to let go. And if they are discarded or replaced with a lesser brand for the sake of convenience, vested interests, or perception, ramifications often follow. Proponents of ditching the traditional defined benefit pension model in favour of a defined contribution savings scheme might want to consider the results of ...more

Seniors’ fight for retirement rights benefits younger Canadians

Seniors’ fight for retirement rights benefits younger Canadians Governments should have learned a number of truths about seniors. They are engaged, have insight and knowledge gained from a lifetime of experiences, and know how to come out swinging when their interests are challenged. Yet, says Susan Eng, CARP’s vice-president of advocacy, some politicians seem to have forgotten the lessons of time when it comes ...more

Income inequality divides millennials and boomers

Income inequality divides millennials and boomers It seems there is substance to all that anecdotal chatter about 20-somethings returning to the nest after taking off for school and other life lessons, only to find the cost of going it alone too much for a paltry income to sustain. There’s nothing new about young people landing back on their parents’ couch after flying ...more

Municipalities and pension funds natural match of need and opportunity, says chair of LUMCO

Municipalities and pension funds natural match of need and opportunity, says chair of LUMCO Ontario municipalities need capital for infrastructure projects, big and small, while Canada’s big pension plans have an appetite for investing in such projects. It could be the perfect union of need and opportunity, says the chair of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO). Jeff Lehman, mayor of Barrie and chair of LUMCO, recently wrote ...more

Business needs to make the case for adequate retirement income

Business needs to make the case for adequate retirement income The retired couple contacted his office about a stark choice confronting them: food or heat. They didn’t have enough money for both. A growing number of reports and anecdotal evidence suggests they aren’t alone, as people across Canada struggle with inadequate retirement income, suggesting that the oft-discussed retirement crisis is now at the doorstep of many ...more

Retirees take aim at feds’ target benefit plans

Retirees take aim at feds’ target benefit plans Getting on the bad side of retired Canadians is never a good idea, a lesson one might have thought today’s generation of politicians would have learned from Brian Mulroney when he tried to de-index pensions back in 1986. After incurring the wrath of seniors, particular one irate elderly woman who told him during a protest on ...more

Voluntary ‘doesn’t work’ as a retirement model: Don Ezra

Voluntary ‘doesn’t work’ as a retirement model: Don Ezra In a perfect world Canadians would be saving enough of their working income to provide for a comfortable and secure retirement. But there’s lots of evidence to conclude that when it comes to retirement planning, it’s far from a perfect world. There is plenty of information to suggest that left to their own devices Canadians can’t ...more

Overall lack of pensions narrows retirement income gap between men and women

Overall lack of pensions narrows retirement income gap between men and women As today’s women shatter glass ceiling after glass ceiling they are narrowing the gap with men in all walks of life. However, when it comes to retirement income, the lack of adequate pension provision for both sexes is becoming an unfortunate equalizer. The absence of workplace pension plans has resulted in a kind of race to ...more

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan Whether it’s NEST in the United Kingdom, Australia’s superannuation system, the KiwiSaver in New Zealand, or the new VRSP in Quebec, all have one thing in common: a realization that people need some sort of nudge to help them save for retirement. The DC-type plans have some key differences, but a core element is a requirement ...more

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor Retirement anxiety is a real and tangible concern for millions of Canadians. More than 60 per cent don’t have an occupational pension plan, and for them the traditional notion of the ‘golden years’ is fast becoming unattainable. Efforts are being made to solve the riddle of inadequate retirement income, with solutions including the promised Ontario Retirement ...more

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever As Canadian pension plans surge back towards surplus on the strength of stellar 2013 investment returns, cooler heads realize the good times won’t last forever and that funds need to continue to manage risk to keep the pension benefits flowing to retirees. Leo de Bever seems to fit comfortably into this group of cautious managers. The ...more

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits Canadians are becoming increasingly anxious that their retirement years may not be as golden as once imagined, and they are willing to bargain with employers to achieve greater retirement security. A report by Towers Watson, the Global Benefits Attitude Survey, reveals Canadians are so concerned about their retirement readiness, they are willing to trade wages for ...more

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay The Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison McKay as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Alison was selected to replace former CEO Brad Garvey who left the organisation in April, 2013 due to a sudden and unexpected illness. “I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead as SHEPP builds on recent ...more

In The Headlines
TFSAs popular with the senior set – ARIA post

(March 2, 2015) Measures that help Canadians save for retirement are popular with CARP members, including the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), reports Benefits Canada. As many as two-thirds of CARP members favour hiking the TFSA contribution limit. The plan allows savings to grow tax free, unlike RRSPs which are taxed on withdrawal. “TFSAs have particular value ...more

Report says high fees cost Canadians retirement years – ARIA post

(March 2, 2015) When identifying the strengths of the defined benefit pension plan, advocates include one key factor: fees are much lower in a traditional pension plan than they are in private schemes such as RRSPs. A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives puts a cost on those higher fees, saying they could ...more

Shift away from DB slows – ARIA post

(March 2, 2015) It’s not exactly a shift back to defined benefit, but it is a slowdown in the drift to defined contribution, reports Talent Management (TM). According to recent research by Towers Watson, fewer American companies shifted from DB to DC than at any other time over the last decade. The change, reports TM, “is ...more

OMERS narrows the funding gap, posts 10 per cent return – ARIA post

(Feb. 27, 2015) The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) saw its funding deficit reduced on the strength of solid 2014 investment returns, writes Janet McFarland in the Globe and Mail. The plan announced a 10 per cent return on investments for 2014, increasing its assets to $72 billion, up from 2013’s $65 billion. OMERS is ...more

Debt and retirement remain a bad mix – ARIA post

(Feb. 27, 2015) Even though they are becoming increasingly connected, debt and retirement remains a bad idea, writes Guy Dixon in the Globe and Mail. However, it’s a scenario that’s hard to avoid, especially if people are thrown a couple of unexpected twists, like divorce, illness or even a sudden death, he writes, pointing to a ...more

Once invested, leave retirement savings alone – ARIA post

(Feb. 27, 2015) Despite their best intentions, lots of Canadians make decisions that hurt their retirement prospects. Writing at www.cbc.ca, personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq shines a light on some common mistakes people make in retirement planning. A top mistake, she writes, is cashing out early. Whether you are in your 20s or 50s, taking money ...more

Employers can help employees ease debt – ARIA post

(Feb. 26, 2015) It’s no secret that Canadians are carrying high debt loads, and that it’s causing them a lot of stress. It’s also preventing them from tending to other needs, like saving for retirement. Writing in Benefits Canada, Jeffrey Schwartz says that employers can help employees save for retirement by helping them get out of debt. ...more

Public pensions account for less than four per cent of general spending – ARIA post

(Feb. 26, 2015) Opponents of public sector defined benefit plans maintain that they are too costly for taxpayers to sustain, despite evidence that suggests they aren’t. According to a brief from the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA), public pensions paid to retirees are from trust funds to which employees and employers contribute, not from ...more

Caisse’s strategy delivers solid returns – ARIA post

(Feb. 25, 2015) The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s 12 per cent return on investments for 2014 shows the resilience of the fund’s portfolio, says Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer. Detailing its financial results for 2014, the Caisse also pointed to its four-year weighted average return of 9.6 per cent as delivering meaningful results ...more

Report decries high fees … could delay retirement by 11 years – ARIA post

(Feb. 25, 2015) When identifying the strengths of the defined benefit pension plan, advocates include one key factor: fees are much lower in a traditional pension plan than they are in private schemes such as RRSPs. A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives puts a cost on those higher fees, saying they could ...more

Canadians worry about being able to pay the bills in retirement – ARIA post

(Feb. 25, 2015) A large majority of Canadians who have not yet crossed the threshold of retirement worry that they won’t have enough to pay the bills when they do, reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. According to a new report from Franklin Templeton Investments, the 2015 Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) study, fully 88 per cent ...more

Retirement security: social policy for the 21st century – ARIA post

(Feb. 25, 2015) The success of Canada’s income supports for retirees can be seen in the decline of senior poverty rates, as the vast majority of seniors have enough money to enjoy a relatively comfortable retirement. Statistics Canada, reports the Globe and Mail, says that by 2010, only five per cent of seniors were living in ...more

Retirement without DB less secure – ARIA post

(Feb. 23, 2015) How much does one need to realize a comfortable, secure retirement? It’s a question workers ask, particularly those without the guarantee of a lifetime income that comes with a traditional defined benefit pension. Is $1 million enough? Retirement columnist Rodney Brooks answers this and other related questions in a new new e-book, Is One ...more

Working Canadians worry about outliving their savings – ARIA post

(Feb. 23, 2015) When it comes to worrying about retirement security, a divide between Canadians still working and those retired has been revealed by a new poll, writes Kevin Press. The 2015 edition of the Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index shows that “working Canadians are two-and-a-half times more likely than their retired counterparts to believe they ...more

Five developments to watch for in 2015 – ARIA post

(Feb. 19, 2015) As issues related to adequate retirement income resonate louder with Canadians, Mitch Frazer, Susan Nickerson and Thomas Stevenson write on five developments in pensions and benefits law worth watching for in 2015. The first they tackle is: Rethinking Investment Rules: Following the Money. Changes here are “aimed at both increasing the use of ‘safe’ securities ...more

The little things make a big difference – ARIA post

(Feb. 19, 2015) When it comes to workplace wellness, celebrating the little things make a big difference, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans’ recent Workplace Wellness Trends. Although marking a birthday, “rolling up the sleeves for a community volunteer project and taking that extra day of vacation are probably not the first activities that ...more

Canadians worry they will outlive their savings – ARIA post

(Feb. 19, 2015) The latest Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index shows how Canadians are reacting to a pending retirement crisis, with more than a third of them believing there exists a serious risk of outliving retirement savings, reports www.advisor.ca. The expectations of working Canadians differ from those of current retirees, among whom only one in seven ...more

Canadians say they can’t afford to retire – ARIA post

(Feb. 18, 2015) The retirement once envisioned by the boomer generation of ‘freedom 55′ is fading ever more into the mists of time for a growing number of Canadians, writes Barry Critchley in the Financial Post. In 2008, 16 per cent of Canadians polled in a Sun Life Financial survey indicated they imagined themselves to be ...more

Women less prepared for retirement, poll reveals – ARIA post

(Feb. 18, 2015) A new study indicates that Canadian women are less prepared for retirement than men, reports Benefits Canada. According to the 25th Annual RBC RRSP Poll, 75 per cent of Canadian women do not have a retirement plan completed, compared to 62 per cent of men. Additionally, the poll finds that 67 per cent of women ...more

Fear of losing keeps Canadians away from markets – ARIA post

(Feb. 17, 2015) Canadians know they need a significant return on investments to provide a secure retirement, with nearly 80 per cent saying they need at least four per cent a year, reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. However, according to a CIBC Asset Management survey, nearly 70 per cent of investors with low-rate guaranteed products aren’t ...more