October 1st is International Day of Older Persons - Canadian enjoying retirement despite a drop in their income



    Retirees' quality of life is preserved in Canada according to an
    international survey involving more than 26 countries

    MONTREAL, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the 2007-2008 AXA
Retirement Scope, Canada is one of the countries where the greatest number of
retirees have to make do with a reduced income at retirement (77% compared
with an international average of 68%). However, for about half of Canadians,
quality of life remains the same after retirement and even improves for 36% of
them. This perception of improved quality of life is at least twice more
frequent in retirees who had a high income during their active years. "It is
probable that a reduction in certain expenditures related to working life and
the possibility of using one's time as one wishes explain such favourable
perceptions of quality of life after retirement and compensate for the loss of
income," explains Robert Landry, Executive Vice President, Life Insurance and
Financial Services, AXA Assurances.

    Early preparation for retirement: intentions, reality and means

    The survey also provides interesting data regarding intentions - and
reality - in preparing for retirement. Canada is one of the countries where
awareness that retirement requires preparation is the strongest and where such
preparation is made the earliest. A high majority of our actives (74%) declare
that they have already started to prepare for retirement (54% for the
international average). Our retirees say they started saving at about age 37,
motivated by personal reasons, such as age or family responsibilities. "The
new reality seems to be that today, people start preparing for retirement at
the age of 30, very often prompted by the advice of professionals or enticed
by tax benefits," says Mr. Landry. "Life insurance is definitely part of the
emerging means people use to plan for retirement." It was the case for 53% of
Canadians already retired, and those numbers are expected to increase. More
than 67% of Canadian workers have chosen this mean to prepare their
retirement, including 80% of Quebecers.

    Do our retirees have a sufficient income? And what about our future
    retirees?

    A majority of our retirees (66%) feel that their income is sufficient,
which places the country at the third place in an international comparison,
behind the United States and Switzerland. Currently, this income seems to be
20% higher than the household's basic expenses. Considerable inequalities
still remain for women who report a retirement income of $1,816 against $2,374
for the Canadian average.
    Will the picture be as rosy for the next generations of retirees? People
age 45 and over remain relatively optimistic: only 23% fear that their income
will not be sufficient. This number climbs to 51% for people 35-44. However,
it is difficult to know whether this concern is based on a precise assessment
of future retirement income. "In 2007, only four workers out of ten could
evaluate the income they would dispose of at retirement," said Mr. Landry.
Those able to project their retirement income are more often 45 and over and
are mainly among the well-to-do.

    Health of public pension plan: Quebecers and people age 35-44 among the
    most concerned

    The great majority of the Canadian population feel that the government
pension plan has problems without however considering it is actually in a
state of crisis. Taking a closer look, this confidence is not shared equally
by all. 32% of Quebecers consider that the public plan has serious problems,
but only 16% of Canadians do. In Quebec, the social role of the state is more
valued, and Quebec is more severely affected by population aging. In the
Canadian active population, people age 35 to 44 are also more likely to
believe that the system has serious problems because they are anticipating
that it will certainly be the case when they reach retirement age.

    If you want to learn more about the aging and retirement phenomenon,
    please see the complete Canadian results of the 2007-2008 AXA Retirement
    Scope (with international comparison), as well as the data of previous
    editions of the Scope, by visiting our website: www.axa.ca

    About the AXA Retirement Scope

    The AXA Retirement Scope is an international survey whose objectives are
to explore and understand the attitudes of the population regarding retirement
and contrast image and reality.
    The survey, whose sample is made up of more than 18,000 actives and
retirees, was carried out in 26 countries during the fall of 2007 by a
consortium of research firms led by the GFK Group and represented by CROP in
Canada.

    Analyzed countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany,
    Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco,
    New Zealand, the Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore,
    Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United
    States.

    About AXA Canada

    Operating throughout Canada, AXA offers its clients, through its 2,200
employees and some 4,000 brokers and consultants, an extensive range of damage
and personal insurance products and financial services. In 2007, its sales
amounted to CAN$1.74 billion and its net earnings reached CAN$196.1 million.
AXA Canada is a member of the AXA Group, a world leader in Financial
Protection, whose activities take place mostly in Western Europe, North
America and the Asia/Pacific region. Throughout the world, 67 million clients
put their trust in AXA. For further information about AXA Canada, please visit
www.axa.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Colette Lemieux, AXA Canada, (514) 282-6033,
colette.lemieux@axa-canada.com; Christiane Jacob, AXA Canada, (514) 282-6033,
christiane.jacob@axa-canada.com

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