Feb 13: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
February 13, 2023
Do pension protests in France send a message about retirement saving?
As protesters fill the streets of Paris, demanding that a plan to start government pensions two years later be dropped, some observers are saying the situation underscores the need for us all to be more self-reliant with retirement saving.
A report by Global News states that “retirement as a concept is changing, with people in Canada and elsewhere having to rely on themselves more than they ever have.”
First, the article notes, the fact that France is moving the retirement age forward (two years later) is a bit of a red flag.
“A lot of times a country will move those ages forward because they feel they don’t have the resources to pay the pension obligations that they’ve set the system up for. And the idea that your country can’t afford to pay you is something that makes people very nervous and understandably so,” certified financial planner Millie Gormely tells Global News.
Even Canada’s “wonderful” government retirement system can see benefits changed, Gormely warns in the article.
“I think retirement as a general concept is changing a lot. The idea of leaving school when you’re 19 or 20 years old, you go work in a factory, you stay there for 30 years, they give you a gold watch and a pension, and then you sit on the front porch whittling for a few years until you die. That’s just not the norm,” Gormely states in the article.
Workplace pensions, according to Statistics Canada aren’t available to every worker. Stats Can notes that as of 2019, 4.3 million Canadians were covered by defined benefit plans (where the payout amount is pre-determined), 1.2 million were in defined contribution plans (where what you pay in is pre-determined), and 9.6 million belong to “other” arrangements. Since there are 39 million Canadians, these stats suggest that there are millions of us without any workplace pension arrangements.
Retiring and getting the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) is great, but those government benefits don’t pay a whole lot. As of 2021, reports The Motley Fool Canada the CPP pays a maximum of $1203.75 monthly — but the average payment is $635.26. The OAS as of that date was $635.26 per month.
“It’s not that much money. And if that’s the only money that you have, you’re going to have a hard time, so, if anything, that underscores how important it is for people to be preparing for their retirement outside of what they can expect from the government,” Gormely states in the article.
“Saving up your own money to take care of yourself in the future is going to be very important for those of us who don’t have company pensions. And for younger people, especially, the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be,” she concludes.
If you don’t have a workplace retirement savings program, and are saving on your own for retirement, the Saskatchewan Pension Plan is a resource you should be aware of. SPP lets you contribute up to $7,200 a year towards your retirement — and best of all, the funds you set aside are locked-in, meaning you can’t raid that piggy bank until it’s time to retire. Find out why thousands of Canadians have made SPP their go-to for retirement saving!
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.