So long, Retirement

MONTREAL, Dec. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The mass exodus of Canadian baby boomers may not be as dramatic as originally expected. In fact, more than three in ten people (31%) between the ages of 53 and 62 who responded to Desjardins Financial Security's 8th annual Rethink Retirement(TM) survey said they were more than five years away from retirement, and only 23% hope to stop working completely once they retire.

A risky approach

Although it's true that today's retirees remain active longer than previous generations, gradual retirement may not be the answer for everyone. On the one hand, close to half (47%) of the Canadian workers surveyed in the 2009 study indicated they hope to transition to retirement by gradually reducing their hours. On the other hand, only one in five current retirees retired gradually, while close to three quarters of them (72%) made a clean break. Is this due to different expectations or the changing times? Only time will tell. Nevertheless, with the 414,000 job losses that have occurred in Canada since November 2008(1), the question may be whether employers will be able to retain all of these retirees interested in transitioning out of the workplace.

What about those who want to work but can't?

Another consideration is whether employees will actually be able to continue working. According to Statistics Canada, four in ten Canadians over the age of 65 (1.7 million people) suffer from some sort of disability(2) that makes performing daily activities difficult or reduces the quality or type of activities they can participate in because of an impaired physical or mental state, or from some other health problems.

"The unfortunate thing is that people who can't afford to retire at age 65 are unlikely to ever be financially ready, and that's not good news for employers. Older workers are generally better paid than their younger counterparts, so employers are fully justified in expecting their employees to come to work in full possession of their faculties and because they want to be there, not out of financial necessity," adds Karrina Dusablon, Director, Education Centre and Global Management at Desjardins Financial Security.

Do you want to find out more?

Visit the Rethink Retirement section in our newsroom or the Meet the Experts section for interviews with health and retirement experts.

About the Rethink Retirement Survey

Desjardins Financial Security wants to find out what Canadians are thinking about saving and retirement planning, and how it can better assist them by promoting awareness and developing products and services that are well-suited to their needs. This is our eight annual survey exploring how prepared people are for their retirement. This year, SOM conducted web survey on our behalf in August 2009. In total, 1,524 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of Canadian adults. The data was statistically weighted to accurately reflect the composition of Canadians by region, gender, age and language (mother tongue) based on 2006 Census information.

About Desjardins Financial Security

Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products for individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. The Company employs 3,800 people and administers over $21.9 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

    (1) Desjardins economic studies, Economic and Financial Forecasts,
        October 2009
    (2) Statistics Canada, Persons with disabilities, according to age group
        and sex, 2006.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Desjardins Financial Security

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Truchon, Communications Advisor, (514) 350-8700, extension 8668, Toll free: 1-877-750-8700, extension 8668,; Virtual newsroom:

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