Half of Canadians have nothing saved for retirement

Women less prepared financially than men, finds survey

Half of Canadians have nothing saved for retirement

Many Canadians are in poor financial state, and this is especially true among women, according to a recent report.

Currently, 57% of unretired Canadians don’t feel prepared for retirement, reports the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).

This is true for 64% of women compared to 49% of men.

Currently, affording the day-to-day is the top financial priority for 57% of women compared to 49% of men.

Almost half (49%) of unretired adults have saved nothing for retirement in the last year, as most Canadians continue to worry about having enough money in retirement (58%). And 13% of unretired Canadians don’t think they’ll ever retire while over one in four (26%) plan to continue to work in retirement to support themselves.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen Canadians struggle to keep up, first with inflation and now with interest rates and the cost of living,” says David Coletto, CEO, Abacus Data. “But a small cut in interest rates won’t provide enough relief for Canadians, who told us they expect rates to continue to impact their ability to save even if they decrease slightly in the short-term.”

Over two in five (43%) of Canadians are now planning to retire later than they originally expected or planned, up from 37% in 2023, according to a previous report.

Many Canadians have no savings at all

Many Canadians (22%) currently have no savings at all, according to HOOPP’s survey of 2,000 respondents. 

Again, women seem to be getting the raw end of the stick: 49% of women have less than $5,000 in savings, compared to a third (33%) of men.

Women are also less likely to have enough money coming in to save (36% of women compared to 48% of men), and much more likely to be concerned about the cost of daily life (76% vs. 65%) and their income keeping up with inflation (69% vs. 57%).

At the same time, women are more likely than men to be concerned about housing affordability (66% of women, compared to 51% of men), having enough money in retirement (63% vs. 52%) and their mental health (49% vs. 35%).

More women feel anxious (51% of women compared to 39% of men), fearful (50% vs. 37%), frustrated (50% vs. 42%) and sad (46% vs. 36%) about their financial situation.

Financial compensation is the top priority for professionals in different fields, according to a previous report.

Are pensions good in Canada?

Having pension plans may be the way to ease Canadians’ financial troubles, according to HOOPP.

Almost half (49%) of unretired women with a pension feel prepared for retirement, compared to just 29% of those without a pension. For unretired men, this increases to 66% of those with a pension and 40% without.

Canadians also recognize that pension plans help the Canadian economy. Over three-quarters (77%) agree that without good pensions in place, the economy will suffer. Also, 75% believe that if workers aren’t able to access good workplace pensions and contribute during their working lives, they will become a burden on taxpayers.

“By improving access to good workplace pensions we can help prevent these challenges from further eroding Canadian women’s retirement security,” says Ivana Zanardo, head of plan services at HOOPP. “At the end of the day, women and all Canadians deserve to feel confident in their financial future.”

Recently, Ottawa announced its intent to expand early pension eligibility for key frontline safety and security workers.

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