Greater Bay of Quinte Area Chapter: Older Canadians don’t have funds to retire

Click here to read ‘Older Canadians don’t have funds to retire: survey‘ by Barry Ellsworth – News Fulton County, September 9, 2015

TRENTON, Ontario, Canada  – Almost half of Canadians older than 50 will need to stay in the workforce longer because they do not have enough money to retire, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

The Canadian Payroll Association conducted the National Payroll Week Research Study of 3,605 employees and found 48 percent of those over 50 have socked away only a quarter of what they need to live on in retirement.

Part of that is due to the decrease in work pension plans, which used to be a staple of many companies.

“Twelve million Canadians do not have pensions plans and 600,000 Canadians over 65 still live in poverty,” Mary Robertson, a representative for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons told Anadolu Agency.

Those pensions required mandatory contributions from employees and without the automatic deduction, many employees are not putting enough aside for retirement.

And, it is difficult to save for retirement when the survey also found that a growing number of Canadians are also living paycheck-to-paycheck.

A full 48 percent of respondents said they “would find it difficult to meet their financial obligations if their pay was delayed by a single week”, the Business News Network reported Wednesday.

While retired Canadians receive government pension checks — the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) — that is often not enough to live on.

According to the province of Ontario figures, if one’s pre-retirement income is $40,000 per year, in addition to CPP and OAS, that individual needs an additional $11,795 a year to maintain his or her standard of living.

It is particularly difficult if there is no spouse to contribute to the family retirement income.

“Single seniors are the most vulnerable to poverty, most of them women,” Robertson said.

Ontario residents were the most cash-strapped of Canadians, BNN reported, with 52 percent living paycheck-to-paycheck and nationwide, the payroll association found a quarter of those surveyed could not come up with $2,000 within 30 days of an emergency.

Canada once had a set retirement age of 65, but that is no longer the case.

Many Canadians are now opting to work past that age because they do not earn enough for retirement and as a result there are less employment opportunities for younger people. The future financial picture is grim for many Canadians.

“They are not sounding very promising of what (their) future is going to look like,” Lucy Zambon, payroll association vice-chairperson told the Financial Post.