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Two of three Canadians have saved nothing for retirement during COVID, retirement tops list of worries: new research from HOOPP and Abacus Data

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TORONTO, June 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Most Canadians have not set aside anything for retirement in the past year (63%) which is up 5% since last year, according to the third annual Canadian Retirement Survey from Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and Abacus Data. The survey also found a widespread belief that better access to workplace pensions is needed to avoid a retirement crisis.

The findings, based on an April 2021 survey of 2,500 Canadians, affirm there is a high level of anxiety among Canadians about their ability to save for retirement. Half (48%) said they are “very concerned” about not having enough money in retirement. This was more than concern for one’s own physical health (44%), mental health (40%), debt load (31%) and job security (26%). (Retirement was the second greatest concern, after daily cost of living.)

“After more than a year of COVID-19, Canadians remain steadfast in their personal and societal concerns around retirement security,” said Steven McCormick, SVP, Plan Operations, HOOPP. “As day-to-day financial pressures mount for some and ease for others, Canadians across the board are acutely aware of the importance, and challenge, of saving for retirement.”

Almost half (46%) of Canadians said they’ve saved more money during COVID than they otherwise would have. However, of these, half (52%) set aside nothing for retirement during the past year. Of those who said they saved less than usual, 72% saved nothing for retirement.

The COVID-19 pandemic harmed the finances of half of Canadians (52%) and did so disproportionately amongst the younger and lower-income groups. Canadians aged 44 and younger are twice as likely to have had their finances greatly harmed (24%) than Canadians 60+ (11%). Likewise, Canadians earning less than $50K are twice as likely to have had their finances greatly harmed (25%) than those earning $100K+ (12%).

“The pandemic has exacerbated the divide between those who can save for retirement and those who can’t,” said Abacus Data Chief Executive David Coletto. “Those who are the least likely to save – younger and lower-income Canadians – were the hardest hit by the health crisis. This year’s results also show widespread agreement that employers can play an important role in making saving for retirement more affordable.”

Regardless of one’s current finances or the impact of COVID, there are widespread and consistent concerns about having enough money for retirement. Of those making $50K or less, 52% said they were very concerned; and even amongst those making more than $100K, a full 42% said they were very concerned. When asked why they hadn’t saved for retirement, the most common response was living paycheque to paycheque, with one in three (36%) identifying with this reality.

This year’s results once again confirm that Canadians continue to think long-term and big picture on retirement issues. Two-thirds (67%) agree there is an emerging retirement crisis and 65% said that saving for retirement is prohibitively expensive.

For the third straight year, Canadians also widely recognize that workplace pensions are key to the solution:

  • 71% are willing to forgo a higher salary for a (better) pension plan (74% last year)
  • A strong majority say that all workers should have access to affordable (85%) and efficient (84%) retirement savings arrangements (85% and 86% respectively last year)
  • 77% say employers have a responsibility to offer a pension plan (76% last year)
  • 75% agree that without good pensions in place, the economy will suffer; and 74% said that, in the absence of good workplace pensions, individuals will become a burden on taxpayers (77% and 76% respectively last year)

“These findings, consistent with prior years, point to a clear desire amongst Canadians for greater access to workplace pensions,” said McCormick. “As business leaders and decision-makers plan for our post-COVID ‘new normal,’ it’s clear that Canadians would strongly support improvements to retirement security for everyone.”

He added: “HOOPP is proud to do its part by providing retirement security to healthcare workers, many of whom fall into groups that often don’t have access to pensions, such as women, part-time workers and younger Canadians. For our membership, the impacts of this pandemic will continue to be felt even after we emerge from the immediate crisis; but they can take some comfort in knowing their pension is secure.”

The survey was conducted between April 19 and 27, 2021. The margin of error is + / – 1.96, 19 times out of 20. See more detailed results here.

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Prima Wireless Earbuds Reviewhttps://primawirelessearbuds.net/.

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What Make Sure You Really Know Right Anyone Decide To Travel

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When traveling with children advised plan your route in advance. Do a little research and see as relevant and fun places to stop such as parks, museums or other attractions. Once you take breaks every non-chemical hours so everyone maybe even including the children probably get out and stretch their legs.

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Majority of Canadian workers willing to take less pay for a workplace pension plan: survey

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A majority (70 per cent) of Canadians say they’re willing to forgo a higher salary in exchange for a workplace pension plan, according to a new survey for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan by Abacus Data.

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Canadian adults in April, signals an opportunity for employers to build back the post-coronavirus pandemic working landscape better by expanding access to good retirement plans — whether they’re defined benefit, defined contribution or group registered retirement savings plans, says Steven McCormick, senior vice-president of plan operations at the HOOPP.

According to the survey, a secure retirement remains of greater concern for Canadians than concerns about their health, debt load and job security. McCormick says this has been a consistent worry the HOOPP has seen in survey results over the past couple of years. Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents said they’re very concerned about having enough money in retirement, while 31 per cent were highly concerned about their personal debt load and 26 per cent cited their job security. Close to half of respondents expressed high concerns for their physical (43 per cent) and mental (40 per cent) health.

In addition, the pandemic has harmed the finances of more than half (52 per cent) of Canadians’ surveyed and it’s had a particularly disproportionate affect on the finances of younger adults. Adults aged 44 and younger said they’re twice as likely (25 per cent) to have had their finances greatly harmed, compared to those over the age of 60 (12 per cent).

Generally, younger adults tend to work in roles that may have been impacted most by the pandemic, says McCormick, whether in service industries that were shut down or frontline health care that have been busy but don’t always come with access to a pension plan. “Affordability is an issue, so I think their worries increased during this time.”

And while almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said they’ve saved more money than they would have since the onset of the pandemic, among these respondents, over half (52 per cent) didn’t put any of their savings toward their retirement. Overall, most (63 per cent) Canadians surveyed haven’t set aside or saved anything for retirement in the past year, a five-point increase since 2019.

McCormick says this may be due to uncertainty or hesitancy about whether people’s immediate needs outweigh longer-term needs. And with 55 per cent of respondents noting they were very concerned about the cost of day-to-day living, he adds that rising prices have fuelled insecurity and worries so people are creating their own emergency funds right now.

While there’s a segment of the population who’ve saved more and, for them, the pandemic has created wealth, he doesn’t see this as a common narrative in the survey data. “If you don’t have access to a workplace pension or the opportunity to have things like automatic enrolment, the uncertainty of the time may have you holding onto money,” says McCormick. “In Ontario, we’re more optimistic about the pandemic than we were maybe a month ago, but there are still people worrying about whether there’ll be a fourth wave.”

In addition, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents said a retirement crisis is looming and 65 per cent said saving for retirement is prohibitively expensive. It’s a common and shared dream for many people in looking forward to a secure retirement, says McCormick, noting for many, making that dream a reality remains elusive.

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