Why pensioners shouldn’t be left out of Canada’s retirement system
As Canada’s pension system begins to adjust to the new millennium, the country’s largest workers are feeling the impact.
But they aren’t alone.
The majority of Canadians with a pension plan are still working.
The majority of those who retired in 2016 had a retirement income of less than $70,000 a year.
They still get the majority of their money back.
In the meantime, the provinces are working on plans that would help keep them in the system, and the federal government is trying to ensure everyone has access to the money.
But pensioners and retirees have different concerns.
They are struggling to understand how much more they can expect to make.
And for a lot of them, the answers will be a long way off.
The pensions of seniors who retired from 2001 to 2022 were worth about $1.2 billion, or roughly $1,500 per month.
For most of those workers, the federal and provincial governments have invested their money, with many receiving some form of a pension that is linked to earnings.
But for most Canadians, the retirement income they received was much less.
About 6.6 million Canadians received a pension in the year that ended in 2022, according to Statistics Canada data.
That figure was the smallest since the 1960s.
About 12.1 million Canadians earned less than that amount.
The number of Canadians who earned less in the two years before and after retirement increased from 4.7 million in 2022 to 7.6 for the current year.
About 3.7 percent of Canadians earned more than that, and about 1.2 percent earned less.
The number of people earning more than $100,000 annually, which is defined as $250,000 for a single person, grew from 3.6 percent to 4.2 million.
The proportion of Canadians earning more grew from 7.1 percent to 8.3 percent.
And the number of those earning less than half that amount grew from 2.7 to 3.5 million.
About two-thirds of Canadians have no pension.
They have to live off government assistance or support from family members or friends.
About three-quarters of Canadians in retirement are women.
About two-in-ten men have no retirement income.
And some of the most vulnerable people in retirement – people who live with disabilities or are in poverty – are more likely to receive a pension.
People with disabilities have a median pension income of $31,000, and people living in poverty earn less than 50 percent of what their peers earn, according a new report from the National Council of Welfare.
For example, a family of four with a disability earning $42,000 in 2022 would have to contribute $1 million to their pension.
In 2017, they earned $1 in retirement.
About 5.2% of Canadians aged 65 and over have no assets to their name, according the most recent figures from Statistics Canada.
About half of them have no savings and about 6.2 per cent have assets in retirement, according StatsCan.
But those numbers may not be enough to cover retirement expenses, and many people who can’t contribute are in precarious situations.
For many seniors, the uncertainty of retirement comes at a high cost.
In fact, a recent report from BMO Capital Markets, which tracks retirement income, showed that people who retire from 2017 to 2022 are more than three times as likely to be living on $16,000 to $30,000 per year.
That is a $1 billion annual drop in income.BMO’s report also noted that about a quarter of Canadians between the ages of 60 and 64 who were not working had to work during retirement to pay for their living expenses.
That can be difficult for seniors with young children or for those who need to keep a roof over their heads to provide for their elderly parents.
A lot of those people, however, don’t have much choice but to contribute to the retirement plan.
“You can’t really change a plan until it is in place,” said Paul Daley, a professor of retirement management at the University of Calgary.
“If you can’t change it, you cannot pay for it.”
The government says that pensioners with the most trouble will be those with the highest income.
It estimates that the average household earning $150,000 or more in retirement has $6,600 in assets.
About 10 percent of those households, the government estimates, would have an income of more than half a million dollars.
“It is a significant number, and it is going to be even more so for the people who are the least well off,” said Statistics Canada’s Daley.
A report from Statistics Quebec released in January suggested that only about 3.3 million people aged 65 to 64 in the province have an annual income of at least $20,000.
The rest have an average annual income between $12,000 and $15,000 depending on where they live.
About 15 percent of all seniors in the Quebec province would have a yearly income of between $30 and $