/R E P E A T/ Fewer bequests for the next generations of Canadians? - Intergenerational wealth transfer could be reduced by lengthening life expectancy

    MONTREAL, March 21 /CNW Telbec/ - If people in their twenties or thirties
are counting on a baby-boomer's inheritance to optimize their savings and
retirement, they may well be disappointed. According to a recent survey by
CROP within the framework of the 2007 AXA Retirement Scope, some 58% of
Canadians who are currently working (the "actives") intend to spend the money
they have saved rather than bequeath it to their close relatives (30%).
    In comparison, Canadian retirees are more hesitant than the actives
regarding the bequest question. 39% of people 65 and older intend to save
their accumulated capital to transfer it to their close relatives, versus only
30% of the actives.
    "I believe that Canadian actives are realistic in this," said Robert
Landry, Executive Vice President, Life Insurance and Financial Services, AXA.
"In Canada, life expectancy already reaches 82.6 years for women and 77.8
years for men, and these figures continue to increase. Canadian actives are
therefore aware that they will have to make their retirement income last over
a longer period of time than is the case for the current generation of
retirees. This will certainly have the effect of reducing the
intergenerational wealth transfer. People who are 20 to 30 today will probably
start planning for their retirement earlier than their elders."
    Still according to this study carried out among 11,590 persons in 16
countries, the Germans are the most likely to want to enjoy their savings. 78%
of German actives and 66% of retirees expect to spend their capital rather
than bequeath it. They are closely followed by the Australians, with 66% of
actives and 59% of retirees expecting to spend what they have saved. At the
other end of the spectrum, the Asians and the French are those who most intend
to leave a bequest for their offsprings. Only 20% of the Chinese and Japanese
actives expect to spend what they have saved. The situation is similar for the
French (38%).

    The AXA Retirement Scope

    The AXA Retirement Scope is an international study whose objectives are
exploring and understanding the attitudes of the population towards retirement
and comparing its image to its reality.
    The study, whose sample includes both actives and retirees, was carried
out among 11,590 persons in 16 countries, from August 14 to September 10,
2006, in Canada, by a consortium of research companies led by the GFK Group
and represented by CROP in Canada. The analyzed countries are as follows:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan,
the Netherland, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United
States and Singapore.

    About AXA Canada

    Operating throughout Canada, AXA Canada offers its clients, through some
2,300 employees and 4,000 brokers and consultants, an extensive range of
damage and personal insurance products and financial services. In 2006, its
sales amounted to CAN$1.7 billion and its net earnings reached               
CAN$175.5 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. In 2006, the AXA Group's sales
amounted to CAN$112.2 billion and its managed assets to CAN$1,573 billion.
    You may examine all the Canadian results of the 2007 AXA Retirement Scope
(with international comparison) on the following website: www.axa.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Suzie Pellerin, Director, Communication, AXA,
(514) 282-6817, Ext. 4100, 1-800-461-4343, suzie.pellerin@axa-canada.com

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