The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, officially launched the newly redesigned Canadian Retirement Income Calculator (CRIC) on November 13, 2014. The CRIC is an online tool that helps you estimate how much income you will have in retirement. It also provides Canadians with retirement income information, including information on the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement benefits.
This retirement planning tool is available on the Service Canada website and has been substantially improved. It is now easier to use and it provides retirement income estimates in a matter of minutes using dynamic text, dropdowns and graphics that show users how small changes in savings and financial behaviors can impact results.
Although such tools are beneficial for informing and educating the public about their pension income expectations, CARP acknowledges that such initiatives are not enough when addressing the issue of retirement readiness. Canadians are not saving enough for their own retirement. If nothing is done to provide Canadians with robust and safe ways to plan and save for retirement, many Canadians will be financially unprepared and may experience significant drops in standard of living in retirement.
CARP’s call for pension reform targets middle-income earners who are especially unlikely to have workplace pension plans and to have saved sufficiently for retirement on their own. Low income earners can generally be expect to replace a sufficient amount of their pre-retirement income through CPP, Old Age Security (OAS), and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and higher income earners tend to save sufficiently on their own.
The federal and provincial governments must and act now to address the urgent need to provide Canadians with a retirement savings vehicle that is universally accessible, affordable, adequate, and sustainable, along with a modest CPP enhancement and educational tools such as Canadian Retirement Income Calculator to better inform decision making.
November 14, 2014