Who did the recession hurt more: workers or retirees?

MONTREAL, Dec. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian workers and retirees experienced last year's recession very differently. According to the results of Desjardins Financial Security's 2009 Rethink Retirement(TM) survey, two in five retirees (40%) say their financial situation deteriorated in 2009, compared to three in ten workers (30%). Even more striking is the fact that more than one in four workers (26%) said that things improved, compared to one in ten retirees (8%).

What caused Canadian workers and retirees' financial situation to deteriorate? One in five respondents (20%) cited stock market losses and a higher cost of living respectively, but the explanations given by retirees and workers differ. First, retirees are more likely than workers to mention investment losses (28% vs. 16% respectively), increases in the cost of living with compared to a stable revenue (28% vs. 14%) and a decrease in revenue (19% vs. 8%). On the other hand, workers are more likely to blame job losses or a decrease in hours worked (23% vs. 3% for retirees), and the fact that a spouse works less or not at all (7% vs. 1% respectively) to explain the deterioration of their financial situation.

Close to one in two (46%) retirees whose financial situation has deteriorated in the last year states that they are just barely covering their expenses.

Despite the recession, one in five workers (20%) surveyed reported that their income went up (raise, overtime, better job), while more than one in four (26%) retirees could claim the same.

Is paying off debts the key to staying afloat?

When asked what the main reason was for the improvement in their financial situation, a significant number of workers aged 40 and over (26%) paid off their debts, while this number was 18% for all workers.

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 www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. 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, Isabelle.truchon@dsf.ca; Virtual newsroom: http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press

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