The Pensions Canadians Want: The Results of a National Survey

In August 2016, Ipsos Reid conducted an online survey of 1,000 working adult Canadians on behalf of the Canadian Public Pension Leadership Council (CPPLC). The survey asked respondents about their expectations, desires and strategies for retirement through three types of questions: ranking preferences on a scale from 1 to 10, answering yes or no questions, and choosing a category that best fit their situation. Overall, the survey found that:

  • Canadians value the features typically found in defined benefit (DB) plans and would be willing to pay to secure those features
  • Members of workplace pension plans, especially those participating in DB plans, have greater confidence that they will be prepared for retirement
  • Canadians are finding ways to adapt to meet retirement objectives, such as retiring later or supplementing retirement income with additional employment.

The survey results will be useful to policy makers, employers and plan sponsors seeking to understand what Canadians want and expect from retirement savings and pension plans. To read the full report: The Pensions Canadians Want: The Results of a National Survey

To read a summary: Key Findings of the Pensions Canadians Want: The Results of a National Survey

 

Shifting Public Sector DB Plans to DC — The Experience so far and Implications for Canada

The research paper, Shifting Public Sector DB Plans to DC – The Experience so far and Implications for Canada, examines the claim that converting public sector DB plans to DC is in the best interests of taxpayers and other stakeholders by studying the experience of other jurisdictions, including Australia, Michigan, Nebraska, New York City, Saskatchewan and Texas and applying those lessons here.

Shifting Public Sector DB Plans to DC – The Experience so far and Implications for Canada is written by Robert L. Brown, retired professor from the University of Waterloo and president of the International Actuarial Association, and Craig McInnes, a business journalist and writer. The research paper explores the implications of converting large public sector DB pension plans to individually controlled and pooled DC arrangements.

While the subject of the research paper is primarily a comparison of DB and DC plans, the authors note that many public sector plans have already evolved to the point where they are no longer pure DB plans in which only employers own the risks. Most large provincial and sector-based plans have already moved towards more risk sharing with plan members.

“We ask what are we trying to achieve through converting large public sector pension plans from DB to DC and then look at whether those goals would be achieved, not just for public sector employers but for everyone who would be affected either directly or indirectly.”

The paper concludes: “after examining the literature on the experience in other jurisdictions and modelling what the ramifications would be in converting a large Canadian DB plan to DC, we found that none of the stakeholders would ultimately be better off.”

Funding for the research paper was made possible by the CPPLC, a non-partisan group of public pension plans from across the country working together to help inform the debate about income security in retirement.