CARP Financial Issues/RRSP Poll Report

Pension Reform Image

Key Findings


March 5, 2015: Almost all members have tax-sheltered savings, split equally between RRSPs and RRIFs, and about a third contribute or contributed the maximum each year. The vast majority also contribute to a TFSA and two thirds approve of the increase in the contribution cap.

The vast majority of members are retired and not working at all, about a tenth are retired and working and few are not retired. On average, those retired did so at 61, a year before they expected to at, on average, 62. Those who have not retired, however, don’t expect to retire until they are, on average, 69, and many don’t think they will ever retire. A substantial minority have either already delayed or expect to have to delay their retirements because of financial need.

One half of members agree the age for OAS must be lowered again to 65, but as many as three quarters agree RRIF withdrawal rules must be changed. There is wide disagreement, by two thirds, that Canadians can rely on TFSAs and RRSPs without a robust pension plan.

It is important to all members that all age cohorts are funded equally and fairly, and they see shelter costs (and student debt) as the biggest financial challenges facing their children and grandchildren. Just more than three quarters find it important to consider their children’s and grandchildren’s welfare when voting.

There is agreement Canada is a rich enough country to support all its citizens, that all Canadians should share in the dividends of Canada’s success and that the government is wrong when it says the economy is too weak to support public spending. Members insist either that the government’s spending priorities are wrong or that increased spending would boost a sagging economy. Almost all members disagree the government should be encouraging private spending now, rather than saving and spending later when retired.

The Liberals continue to lead the Conservatives, but the gap between them has narrowed. The third place NDP have seen an increase in their vote share this wave.

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