OCT 3: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

October 3, 2022

Canada no longer a top 10 country for retirement security: Natixis survey

A “decline in financial well-being and happiness” is cited among the reasons why Canada is no longer a top 10 nation in retirement security.

Writing in the Financial Post, Victoria Wells reports Canada has dropped to 15th place (from 10th place last year) on the Natixis Investment Managers ranking of the countries that offer the highest level of retirement security.

“The main reasons for the drop, Natixis IM said, are a decline in financial well-being and happiness, increased tax burdens, a rapidly aging population and environmental factors, such as a lack of biodiversity,” Wells reports.

She further notes that this dip in retirement security levels coincides with “soaring inflation, aggressive interest rate hikes and a wobbly stock market,” all factors making 2022 “one of the worst years ever to retire.”

In the article, Dave Goodsell of Natixis notes that the study found 65 per cent of Canadians surveyed are “underestimating their life expectancy,” and “61 per cent haven’t considered how much inflation will impact their finances.” A further 60 per cent, he states in the article, “aren’t planning for additional healthcare costs” as they age.

Another problem for the retirement system, the article reports, is the strain on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) system as “the number of seniors boom in relation to younger workers who pay into CPP.”

“Investment strategies, financial planning, employee benefits and policy considerations will all need to factor in a new funding equation that accounts for inflation, interest rates and increased longevity,” Goodsell states in the article.

The top three countries for retirement security are Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland, the article concludes.

Another factor not noted in this article is the huge increase in retirements in this country. The Peterborough Examiner reports that retirements are up 50 per cent in Canada versus last year. The Examiner cites Statistics Canada data from August that showed 307,000 Canucks had retired in the last 12 months, versus 233,000 a year earlier.

As well, the Examiner article reports, 12.9 per cent of Canadians say they are planning to leave their jobs for retirement soon – that figure again is from August of this year.

So, summing it up, a record number of Canucks are heading out of the workplace for the last time, despite the fact that markets are unstable, inflation is at decades-high levels, and interest rates are soaring – the latter bit of news being good for savers but bad for debtors.

It’s worth noting that the CPP has a massive contingency fund, run by CPP Investments, that currently has $523 billion in assets according to a recent news release. So if we ever do get to a point where the contributions to CPP made by workers aren’t enough to pay CPP pensions, there’s a large keg of money that can be tapped at that time.

However, it’s best to have multiple streams of retirement income to rely on in the future. If you have a workplace pension you are ahead in that game. If you don’t, or want to augment your overall savings, a helpful tool is the Saskatchewan Pension Plan, a defined contribution plan that’s open to any Canadian with registered retirement savings room. Contributions you make to SPP are pooled, invested professionally at a low cost, and are grown prudently until you are ready to convert savings to retirement income. Check out SPP today!

Join the Wealthcare Revolution – follow SPP on Facebook!

Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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