Survey finds Canadians aren’t sure how much they’ll need for retirement Keywords Retirement The HSBC study also states that approximately three-quarters (74%) of pre-retiree Canadians want to retire in the next five years, but 45% of survey participants do not expect to follow through on this goal. Toronto-based Mercer (Canada) Ltd., which published its own research on retirement in October, found that 41% of Canadian employees say they will work in retirement at least on a part-time basis. One-fifth (20%) of employees also say that their biggest financial concern is not saving enough for retirement. The retirement funding system does need to be improved in Canada and some initial steps are already being taken, said Jean-Philippe Provost, senior partner with Mercer and head of the firm’s retirement business in Canada, at Mercer’s annual retirement outlook presentation in Toronto on Wednesday. Specifically, the new Liberal federal government has proposed to roll back the age of eligibility for old-age security to 65 from 67; in addition, benefits for the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) are being increased slightly, said Provost. “The cost of making the [GIS] adjustment is relatively small, roughly 0.4% of the [gross domestic product], something that the government feels can be sustained,” he explained. There’s also an ongoing discussion at the federal level on the possibility of expanding the Canada Pension Plan, which is in addition to Ontario’s plan to move forward with its own public pension system, he continued. And Canada is actually going “against the grain” in comparison with many other countries that are reducing the size of their public pension plans, according to Provost. Specifically, 25 of the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development are taking actions such as decreasing benefits or asking citizens to contribute more to their pension plans, he told the audience. However, improving Canadians’ ability to save for retirement requires more than increasing their access to public pension coverage. The high fees incurred from retirement savings products are also an issue that needs to be considered, said Provost. “Those fees are significantly higher than what exists in other parts of the world,” he added. Another situation that needs to be tackled is Canadians’ ability to increase household savings, which are at historical lows, said Provost. The findings from HSBC’s study are based on responses from more than 1,000 people in Canada that were collected between September 2015 and October 2015 while Mercer’s research comes from a random sample survey of more than 1,000 Canadian employees who responded to its poll in early 2015. Snowbirds win legal battle to reinstate out-of-province medical coverage Tessie Sanci Earnings surge for Great-West Lifeco in Q4 Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Various studies are indicating that Canadians’ outlook for their retirement possibilities is quite bleak, but there may be a silver lining based on current discussions surrounding public pension plans in Canada. The most recent research from Vancouver-based HSBC Bank Canada, which released a report on Wednesday, found that 93% of pre-retiree Canadians over the age of 45 say that financial considerations — including lack of savings, too much debt and the need to support dependents — are thwarting their retirement goals.