Sun Life Financial's 2012 Canadian UnretirementTM Index also finds more Canadians plan to phase in retirement by working
part-time or freelance
TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - The retirement landscape in Canada is
changing with only three in 10 Canadians planning to be fully retired
at age 66, according to Sun Life Financial's annual Canadian
UnretirementTM Index released today. The index also found a growing trend of 48 per
cent of Canadians planning to phase in their retirement by working
part-time or freelance, as concerns about having enough savings grow in
today's economic climate.
"Canadian retirement expectations are changing with many planning to
work longer and almost half of Canadians looking to phase in their
retirement," said Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial
Canada. "These results are not surprising given the current economic
volatility, increasing consumer debt loads, rising healthcare costs,
longer life expectancy and lack of planning. We're also finding that
some Canadians believe they'll have to work longer to be able to pay
for basic living expenses."
Among Canadians who expect to work past the traditional retirement age
of 65, 61 per cent say they are working because they need to and only
39 per cent say it is because they want to. The Index also found that
for Canadians planning to phase in their retirement:
Forty-three per cent expect to start the process between the ages of 60
and 65, working either part-time or freelance before they stop working
Twenty-one per cent plan to start between the ages of 50 and 59
Eight per cent expect to start between the ages of 66 and 70
"Interest in phased retirement has been growing over the past few
years," said Ian Markham, Canadian Retirement Innovation Leader at
Towers Watson. "Baby boomers are looking at it as a way to prolong
their careers, pay off some debts and make a smooth transition into
retirement. Having additional income during this transition creates an
additional financial safety net for Canadians - which we're seeing as
increasingly important in today's economy."
The current economic state is weighing heavily on the minds of Canadians
with nearly half (47 per cent) stating they are worried about debt in
retirement. Consumer debt is also impacting retirement planning; 44 per
cent of Canadians say that paying down debt is their number one
financial priority, which ranks significantly higher than saving for
retirement (20 per cent).
Canadians are also living longer. According to Statistics Canada, the average life expectancy for Canadians at age 65 is 20 years, with
women living even longer than men. Statistics Canada also predicts that 17,000 Canadians could reach age 100 by the early 2030s. Canadians
will need to factor longevity into their retirement savings plans and
consider not having income from a job for 20 years on average, or in
some cases, 30 years or more.
"Canadians are living better and working longer," said Moses Znaimer,
President of CARP, Canada's 350,000-member association for A New Vision
of Aging. "It's no secret that my mantra has long been, 'The best way
to keep going is to keep going.' For Zoomers, working past the
traditional age of retirement can be both personally beneficial and
financially necessary. We will continue to work with Sun Life
Financial, CARP's exclusive recommended Financial Advisor Partner, so
we can offer our members support to develop a plan so they will have
the choice to retire or to keep working."
When respondents were asked when they should have started saving for
retirement, the average age to start was 24. Saving earlier and having
a financial plan can help.
The survey also found that Canadians who have support from an advisor or
a financial plan are more confident about having enough retirement
income and more likely to be satisfied with their current level of
retirement savings. Fifty-four per cent of Canadians who work with a
financial advisor say they are satisfied with their current level of
retirement savings, compared to only 28 per cent for those who do not
work with an advisor.
Listen to Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial Canada, as he
comments on Canadians realizing their savings may have to last a long time.
For more key findings and results on the 2012 Canadian UnretirementTM Index, visit www.sunlife.ca/unretirementindex. For more information on retirement, visit Brighterlife.ca.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 29 and December 12, 2011, on behalf of Sun Life Financial.
For this survey, Ipsos Reid conducted online interviews with a sample of
3,701 working Canadians from 30 to 65 years of age from Ipsos' online
panel. Ipsos employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that
the sample's composition reflected that of the adult population
according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate
the sample universe.
A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100
per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of
+/-1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would
have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.
The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other
sub-groupings of the survey population. All sample surveys and polls
may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited
to, methodology change, coverage error and measurement error.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services
organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth
accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate
customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today
have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United
States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan,
Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2011, the Sun
Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of
For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and
Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.
SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.
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Media and Public Relations
Sun Life Financial
519-888-3900 ext. 4896