Over half say it would help them save more for retirement
TORONTO, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Working Canadians have overwhelmingly said they
want a program that makes it easier for employers to offer a pension
plan, according to a recent poll conducted by Research House on behalf
of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).
The poll showed that 90 per cent of Canadians said they support the
federal government's proposal for employers to have better access to
pension plans through Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), which
would be administered by regulated financial institutions. PRPPs have
been in the spotlight in recent months after Federal Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty announced agreement with the provinces for governments to
move ahead with plans for PRPPs as an aspect of enhancing the country's
One of the main thrusts of PRPPs is to encourage more retirement savings
and the poll reveals that it will work: Over half of working Canadians
(55 per cent) said they would save more for retirement if a PRPP option
was available - that jumps to 60 per cent of households with young
children under the age of 17.
"The plan by finance ministers to enhance employer savings programs is
massively popular among Canadians in every region of the country," said
Frank Swedlove, President, Canadian Life and Health Insurance
Association. "It is rare to see a public policy idea receive virtually
unanimous approval with the public."
A PRPP works by making it easier and cheaper for employers to offer a
retirement savings program for employees. It eliminates administrative
work and will be especially attractive to small and medium-sized
employers. By relieving the employer of almost all administrative costs
and compliance issues except for payroll deduction processing, more
companies, employees and the self-employed can participate.
Support for PRPPs was highest among people working for a private company
at 92 per cent. Albertans are the strongest supporters, with 94 per
cent endorsing PRPPs. 91 per cent of Ontarians and Atlantic Canadians
are PRPP backers. Support in Quebec was also strong at 86 per cent.
Canadians recognize the value of the CPP to the overall retirement
savings system (with 59 per cent supporting some government role). But
Canadians also want to have choice in their investment decisions and
believe that the private sector provides that choice. Only 13 per cent
of Canadians said they wanted to leave retirement savings completely
with a public plan.
"Canada has one of the world's best retirement savings programs
according to the Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index. It works
because it balances public sector and private sector roles, offers
choice to Canadians, and manages costs. This is an opportune time to
make the adjustments to improve it, so all Canadians are better
served," added Swedlove.
For those working at an employer's business:
Younger employed Canadians still lag behind their older counterparts in
saving for retirement: 54% of those aged 18-29 who are working for a
private company said they are not currently saving at all for
retirement while those aged 30-49 and 50-64 said 75 per cent and 78 per
cent were saving respectively. Those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan were
the highest savers at 87 per cent. Quebeckers and British Columbians
came in the lowest at 63 and 66 per cent respectively.
The Canadian life and health insurance industry administers more than 70
per cent of pensions plans for Canada's small and medium-sized
businesses and the vast majority of group RRSPs. CLHIA members manage
more than 45,000 employer pension, group RRSP, and other savings
programs serving more than 4.9 million Canadians with more than
$105 billion in assets.
The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides a wide range of
financial security products, including life insurance, annuities
(including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health
insurance, to about 26 million Canadians and their dependants.
Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member
companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance
Research information: A national online survey of 1,000 employed
Canadians by Research House was collected between February 8-13,
SOURCE Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.
For further information:
Media enquiries contact:
Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations (416) 777-2221 or (613) 230-0031