High tuition fees undermine retirement savings, threaten future economic prosperity

OTTAWA, May 19 /CNW/ - The rapidly rising cost of post-secondary is preventing many low-income families from saving for retirement, according to a study released today by Statistics Canada.

"Record high tuition fees are forcing families to choose between the educational aspirations of their children and saving for retirement," said David Molenhuis, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Forcing families to choose between education for their children and retirement security is unfair and threatens Canada's future economic prosperity."

Nearly 80 percent of families from the highest income quintile report saving for both retirement and their children's post-secondary education. This number plummets to just 20 percent for the lowest quintile, according to the report. Conversely, while only five percent of the highest income families saved for post-secondary education and not retirement, this number grew to 26 percent for the lowest earners - more than the number that saves for retirement only (21 percent) or both (14 percent).

The study also found that the higher the level of tuition fees, the more families saved, demonstrating that Canadians are highly aware of the costs of higher education. Across the country, Canadians believe that an education after high school was important or very important, but savings were correlated directly with the cost of tuition fees and family resources.

"Canadians know the costs of post-secondary education and save what they can," added Molenhuis. "The problem for low-income families is not a lack of financial knowledge, but rather insufficient resources to save."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more than one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927. 

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

David Molenhuis, National Chairperson: (613) 232-7394


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