for more exclusive content, see categories in sidebar
Access to CPP structure could see ORPP as a ‘virtual’ plan, reducing startup costs

Access to CPP structure could see ORPP as a ‘virtual’ plan, reducing startup costs When it comes to the provision of adequate retirement income, Canada’s ‘maple revolutionaries’ do it best, says a leading proponent of Ontario’s new pension plan to tackle what is being called a retirement crisis at or near the doorstep. In a March 2012 story that ran under the leafy reference to Canada’s big public sector pension ...more

Retirement crisis getting worse, expanding access to DB a solution

Retirement crisis getting worse, expanding access to DB a solution Whispers of a pending retirement crisis have turned to loud warnings about the social and economic calamities that wait in the wake of inadequate retirement income. As boomers reach or approach the traditional retirement years, their lack of preparedness is the subject of increasingly intense focus on challenges and solutions, as well as their anxiety about ...more

NEST numbers show the value of auto enrolment

NEST numbers show the value of auto enrolment The search is on for a solution to inadequate retirement income, a quest stretching across much of the developed world as countries confront the economic and social ills of aging populations not having enough income to sustain them through their post-working years. Although the solutions on the table vary, the problems are essentially the same: people ...more

Being a responsible investor pays off

Being a responsible investor pays off Responsible investing through ESG standards is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for business, based on the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan’s 17.7 per cent 2014 return on investments. In fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to deliver the best financial results for its members, HOOPP integrates environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors into its investment ...more

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

In The Headlines
Only a quarter of employers offer group TFSA – ARIA post

(April 24, 2015) Upping the annual contribution limit for the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) to $10,000 from $5,500 will “provide Canadians with an opportunity to accumulate tax-free savings at a significantly higher rate over the course of their adult years,” writes Karen Tarbox at Benefits Canada. However, according to the 2015 Towers Watson DC Plan survey, only ...more

Health woes may intrude on plans to work longer – ARIA post

(April 24, 2015) A new study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) shows that while confidence in having enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement is up, one-third of Americans still report to having virtually no money set aside for retirement, writes Ken Berry at CPA Practice Advisor. That’s the view from the 25th annual 2015 Retirement ...more

OPTrust posts 2014 results of 12 per cent – ARIA post

(April 24, 2015) OPTrust, which administers the OPSEU Pension Plan for more than 86,000 members and retirees, reported 2014 investment returns of 12 per cent, net of external management fees. In doing so the plan outperformed its benchmark return of 6.2 per cent, increasing its assets to $17.5 billion by the end of 2014. Of every ...more

Province explores ways to support self-employed in ORPP – ARIA post

(April 24, 2015) Ontario’s upcoming budget is expected to have “a number of significant announcements regarding pension reform,” reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. The 2015 budget, Building OntarioUp, will include draft legislation for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administrative Corporation, which will be tasked with the job of administrating the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), according ...more

Young and old workers seek workplace pension – ARIA post

(April 23, 2015) When looking for commonality between older and younger workers, look no further than appreciation for workplace pensions, writes Martin Biefer for the Hospital News. This benefit is “highly valued” and sought after, he writes. “Research by the Gandalf Group recently found that 79 per cent of Canadians want pension plans at work that have ...more

New Jerseyans favour tax on rich to fund pensions – ARIA post

(April 23, 2015) When asked how to best fund New Jersey’s pension system, a new poll suggests two-thirds of New Jerseyans say money should be raised through income taxes on millionaires, reports www.NJ.com. However, running into that strategy is a pledge by Gov. Chris Christie not to raise income taxes – “a pledge he most recently ...more

Budget eases RRIF withdrawal rules – ARIA post

(April 23, 2015) Increased longevity and a lack of workplace pensions are raising concerns that people might outlive their savings, and have led organizations like CARP to call for an end to mandatory RRIF withdrawal rules. The new federal budget eases the withdrawal rules, and also doubles to $10,000 the amount that can be placed annually ...more

Reduce need for OAS through better CPP: Globe – ARIA post

(April 22, 2015) When Prime Minister Stephen Harper first raised a concern about Canada’s retirement system, he was at a congress of world leaders in Davos, Switzerland. And although he didn’t specifically mention Old Age Security (OAS) on that day in January 2012, it soon became evident that’s what he was talking about, says the Globe ...more

Report shows first quarter growth – ARIA post

(April 22, 2015) According to a new report from Morneau Shepell, “diversified pooled fund managers posted a median return of six per cent before management fees” in the first quarter of 2015, reports www.marketwatch.com. “Stock and bond markets made important advances in the first quarter, generating very high pension fund returns. However, bond interest rates continued ...more

Conservative MP pitches universal pension plan – ARIA post

(April 22, 2015) Noting that it is his own personal opinion and not that of the government, Conservative MP Dave Van Kesteren thinks a universal pension plan for Canadians is a good idea, reports Chatham This Week. Such a plan, he outlined at a recent Chatham-Kent chapter of CARP, would provide every Canadian with a pension of $24,000 ...more

NB reaches out to retirees with new offer – ARIA post

(April 21, 2015) Retired New Brunswick civil servants who are in court fighting the government over unilateral changes to their pensions have been offered a new deal, reports CBC News. The offer reportedly deals with two of the retirees main concerns about the risk-sharing model introduced by the previous NB government: changes to the cost-of-living formula ...more

Turner warns of debt loads, higher rates – ARIA post

(April 21, 2015) How safe is the value of your house as a vehicle for retirement income? According to financial author and speaker Garth Turner, “if you’re buying real estate now, you’ll hate yourself later,” writes Robert Baillieul at The Motley Fool. Garner, writes Baillieul, warns that even a small correction in Canada’s housing market “could wipe ...more

Retirement insecurity a fact of life for third of Americans – ARIA post

(April 21, 2015) If there is comfort in company, the nearly one third of Americans who have almost nothing put aside for retirement should feel it bit better about their dilemma. Retirement insecurity is a concern that stretches across the developed world, as millions of people look at retirement with worry if not outright fear. In the ...more

Young workers ‘bear the brunt’ of DB to DC – ARIA post

(April 20, 2015) When the term ‘pension reform’ is used, it’s usually in the context of reducing benefits to plan members and retirees, or setting up less generous schemes for younger workers. Does that mean the young are bearing the brunt of this ‘reform,’ Kate Lao Shaffner asks at  newsworks.org. In Pennsylvania, at least, municipalities are legally ...more

Switch to DC would cost taxpayers more – ARIA post

(April 20, 2015) A former Pennsylvania state representative is urging legislators to turn their backs on a proposal to switch the pension system to a 401(k)-type plan, saying it would cost taxpayers more, reports ydr.com. The current assistant director of retirement programs for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, and a former member of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System ...more

OPB posts 8.4 per cent gain, nears fully funded status – ARIA post

(April 17, 2015) The Ontario Pension Board (OPB) continued the trend of public sector defined benefit plans posting significant returns on investment with its 8.4 per cent 2014 gain. The board, administrators of Ontario’s Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), saw net investment income in 2014 total $1.64 billion, and net assets exceed $22 billion. “Our 2014 returns ...more

ORPP legislation coming soon: Hunter – ARIA post

(April 17, 2015) Ontario is reviewing more than 1,000 submissions received during the consultation phase for its new pension plan, and the minister in charge of ushering it in, Mitzie Hunter, says the province is “definitely pressing ahead” to have it launched by 2017, reports Investment Executive (IE). At a recent pensions summit organized by the ...more

Understanding would see OMERS take 30 per cent of speciality insurer – ARIA post

(April 17, 2015) The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) has a “memorandum of understanding with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. “on its acquisitions of a specialty insurance company,” reports the Globe and Mail. The agreement would see OMERS “take as much as a 30 per cent stake in Brit PLC, a specialty insurer that underwrites unique policies ...more

Steelworkers challenge ‘creditor preference’ – ARIA post

(April 17, 2015) The United Steelworkers (USW) are calling on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to protect the pensions of retired steelworkers. According to a USW release, U.S. Steel is attempting to get “creditor preference over thousands of pensioners in the bankruptcy protection case of its subsidiary U.S. Steel Canada.” Calling that move “outrageous,” USW Ontario Director Marty ...more

Pay inequality impacts women’s retirement prospects – ARIA post

(April 16, 2015) The ‘promise’ of a secure and dignified retirement at the other end of a working life is becoming harder to attain, but even more so for women, writes Karen Black for Channel 3000. April 14 was Equal Pay Day, but Black writes that pay equality isn’t just a workplace issue, it’s one that reverberates ...more

Defined contribution plans not addressing income adequacy

Writing in The Daily Journal, USA Today contributor Duncan Black warns that Social Security in the U.S. needs to be expanded, because defined contribution 401(k) plans are not delivering adequate retirement incomes.
“The move away from traditional defined benefit plans to defined contribution 401(k)-style plans … has not succeeded in providing for a secure retirement,” he writes.… … Read More

For many, vacation a bigger priority than retirement – ARIA post

While fewer and fewer Canadians have the security of a workplace pension – and must be self-reliant for retirement income – it appears we are a nation of spenders rather than savers.
Writing for the Huffington Post blog, Deborah Nixon notes that Canadians, like others around the world, appear to have rejected the idea of saving for retirement and just “spend spend spend.”
She cites a recent international survey by HSBC of 15,000 people, age 25 and older, that found “48 per cent have never saved for retirement,” and that 43 per cent of those asked “would save for a vacation before retirement.”
But, she adds, they know saving for the future is important – a TD Canada Trust survey found that “70 per cent of Gen Xers (1965-1981) feel that they are not saving enough money and 56 per cent of boomers (1946-1964) are worried about not having enough money in their later years.”
The HSBC research showed that 84 per cent experienced “a life event that affected their ability to save,” and 26 per cent said they had been “impacted by the economic downturn.” Low interest rates for things like mortgages are encouraging people to buy houses, she writes, and people are spending more.“As consumers, we are very skilled at rationalizing what we do, including our impulse purchases,” she notes.… … Read More

High debt, tighter rules making Canadians leery about buying homes – ARIA post

We continually hear how the high level of household debt in Canada is preventing people from voluntarily saving for retirement via RRSPs and TFSAs.
A report by Jennifer Kwan for Yahoo! Finance Canada suggests that high debt may also be impacting Canadians decisions to buy new homes.… … Read More

Strong results for Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – ARIA post

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan posted returns of 13 per cent in 2012, Bloomberg News reports.
The plan, “Canada’s third-biggest retirement-fund manager,” saw gains in real estate, private equity, and stocks, the news service reports.… … Read More