More Should Be Done to Encourage Ontarians to Save for Retirement

Credit to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario

A recent poll commissioned by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) found that 88% of respondents feel more needs to be done to encourage people to save for retirement, while 60% feel there is not enough public information available about pensions.

“Thinking about saving for retirement is usually not top of mind in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, especially for those just starting out in their careers. As the provincial regulator of pension plans here in Ontario, we want to raise awareness about how participating in a pension plan can be beneficial to you and your family. Pensions can be a valuable way to help save for the future.”

Caroline Blouin, FSRA’s Executive Vice President, Pensions

The FSRA poll also found that 78% of respondents signed up for their pension plan immediately when they joined their workplace and 64% said they contributed the maximum amount that is eligible for matching. However, 49% admitted they know more about their favorite TV show than about the inner workings of their pension plan.

“Given the current economic situation, it’s more important than ever to engage with your employer or union to better understand your pension and what you are entitled to,” said Blouin. “You could live up to one third of your life in retirement. We hope Ontarians understand the value of a pension plan, and the benefits of starting to save early to achieve personal financial goals.”

To help generate greater awareness about the importance of saving and the benefits of workplace pensions, FSRA is marking its first annual Pension Awareness Day on February 16, 2023. During the day, all Ontarians are encouraged to take a few minutes to spread the word and engage family, friends and colleagues in a conversation about retirement planning.

If you have a pension plan, find out what type it is, and if you can, take steps to increase your contributions if you decide that aligns with your plans. It’s all about striking a balance between living well today and planning for tomorrow. If you don’t have a pension, consider making a pension or retirement savings plan part of your job search criteria. If you’re starting a new job, ask your employer if they have a pension or retirement savings plan. Your future self will thank you for taking action now.

FSRA’s survey found that 6 out 10 people believe the right time to start saving is in your 20s and that a workplace pension plan provides peace of mind for the future.

The FSRA poll also found that:

  • Overall, a third of respondents (36%) retired or plan on retiring before age 65, a quarter (27%) plan on retiring or did retire at 65, and less than a quarter (12%) feel they will never be able to retire.
  • More than half of respondents (56%) know how much they need to save to retire comfortably.
  • The majority of respondents (80%) have a retirement plan.
  • Those with a workplace pension (48%) are nearly evenly split with those who don’t have a workplace pension (47%).
  • The top three benefits of a workplace pension are: employers contributing to the pension plan (63%), peace of mind about the future (61%) and it allows people to save regularly (58%).

The poll was conducted from November 11 to November 27, 2022, and the sample size was 1,028 people across the province.

For more information about Pension Awareness Day, visit fsrao.ca/PensionAwareness.

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