When it comes to retirement planning, many Canadians are in limbo

Lack of financial literacy, trust are the culprits: Desjardins Financial Security's Retirement survey

LÉVIS, QC, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With only a few days left in the RRSP season, evidence from Desjardins Financial Security's 2012 Retirement survey indicates that many Canadians remain in limbo when it comes to retirement planning (www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com).

According to the survey, Canadians who lack confidence in financial institutions and advisors are more likely to feel that retirement planning is confusing and difficult. They also tended to have lower incomes, fewer savings and were less likely to seek financial information in main-stream media. As a result, they are more likely to feel that their own financial security is poor. The opposite is true for those respondents who had the highest levels of confidence in institutions and advisors.

"This widespread lack of trust in financial institutions and advisors is not surprising, given the financial market instability of the last several years," said André Langlois, vice-president Marketing and Product Development, Individual Insurance and Savings at Desjardins. "But by allowing this scepticism to create such profound disengagement, these respondents are putting their futures in jeopardy."

Langlois suggests that this cohort of Canadians needs support to turn their situation around. "The survey results clearly demonstrate that the more informed you are about financial planning, the more confidence you have in financial institutions, and the more successful you are at planning your future. This is why financial literacy is so important," he notes. "The good news is that regardless of a person's age or situation, sound financial information, resources and advice are available. And it's never too late to start making positive changes."

According to the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and others, financial cooperatives such as Desjardins have proven themselves more resilient to the recent turbulence of financial markets. Many also have a mandate to support financial literacy in the communities they operate. "Desjardins Group has developed a number of online tools and resources that can help anyone get started on planning their future. One in particular that was launched this past fall is the Desjardins Personal Finance Index. It's a short questionnaire that measures a person's financial knowledge and offers helpful tips based on the person's score. It's a great financial planning tool and we invite all Canadians to try it," said Langlois.

Survey Results
Survey respondents with the lowest levels of confidence in financial advisors:

  • are more confused by retirement planning, at 60.7 percent, compared to only 28.4 percent of those with the highest level of confidence
  • find retirement planning more difficult, at 60.8 percent, compared to only 26.4 percent of those at the highest level
  • are less likely to say they are engaged in their retirement planning, at 56.5 percent, compared to 92.0 percent of those at the highest level
  • are much less confident that they will make enough money to live comfortably during retirement, at only 39.7 percent, compared to 75.5 percent of those at the highest level
  • are less likely to regularly consume news and information about retirement planning, at 41.0 percent, compared to 65.4 percent of those at the highest level
  • are less likely to say that their personal financial security is excellent, good or very good, at 46.5 percent compared to 83.0 percent of those at the highest level

About the survey
SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing conducted this Web survey on behalf of Desjardins Financial Security from November 14 to 27, 2011. In total, 2,039 questionnaires were completed with a sample of working and retired Canadian Web panellists aged 18 to 70. The data was weighted to reflect the distributions of the population of working and retired Canadian Web panellists aged 18 to 70 in terms of gender in 10 provinces. Also, to reflect the population distributions in terms of the joint age-gender and mother tongue in 5 regions (Atlantic provinces, Québec, Ontario, Prairies and British Columbia) and in 3 sub-regions of Québec (Montreal CMA, Québec CMA and elsewhere in Québec). Since the survey panels comprised randomly recruited panellists, it was possible to calculate margins of error for the results. The maximum margin of error for the aggregate data (n: 2,039) is 2.6% at a 95% confidence level.

About Desjardins Financial Security
Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in providing life and health insurance and retirement savings products to individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. Desjardins Financial Security employs over 4,000 people and administers $27.7 billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Lévis, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit the website at www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com.


For further information:

Source (for journalists only):
Sarah Twomey
Advisor, Media Relations
Desjardins Group
416-926-2700 or 1-877-906-5551, ext. 2015

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