Less than half of working age Canadians have a workplace retirement plan

Waterloo, ON (Oct. 17, 2014) – Only 47 per cent of working age Canadians (those 25 years of age and older) have a workplace retirement savings plan, according to the most recent Manulife Investor Sentiment Index. The survey also finds most Canadians are risk averse in their approach to saving and investing and are likely missing some opportunities to safely increase their savings, such as maximizing an employer-sponsored pension plan.

“Access to workplace savings plans and financial advice can help Canadians plan for a better retirement,” said Marianne Harrison, Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager, Canadian Division, Manulife. “The action taken by the federal government in 2012 to pass the Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) Act, creates a national awareness that Canadians need to save for retirement. We continue to work closely with the federal and provincial governments to help make this savings solution available across the country.”

When it comes to planning for retirement, survey findings also show that working Canadians are less likely to consult a financial advisor to help manage their workplace retirement plan.

Workplace Retirement Plans – the Numbers

  • 6 per cent of working Canadians receive advice from an advisor to help them manage their workplace retirement plan.
  • 38 per cent are interested in having their employer contract a third-party company to support them with planning for retirement.
  • 66 per cent are likely to keep the investments within their employer plan and begin to draw an income when they retire rather than transfer the assets to another financial institution.

How much will it cost to retire?

According to the Statistics Canada Survey of Household Spending for 2010,(1) senior couples on average spent a combined $53,100 a year (including tax payments). These numbers further show that retirement costs for a retired middle-class couple, would range from $40,000-$70,000 before taxes.(2) Expenses, savings, investments, pensions, inflation and health care costs are just some of the things that can determine how much savings one will need for retirement.


1. Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending, 2010

2. MoneySense.ca, The Magic Number: How Much You Need to Retire

Canadian retirement plan trends

The infographic includes findings from the 2014 Manulife Investor Sentiment Index. *Represents those who belong to a workplace retirement plan (WRP). **A workplace retirement plan provider is a third-party company contracted by an employer who processes workplace savings plans. Note: Plan trends in the infographic are in regards to working Canadians. (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)

About the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index

The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index is a semi-annual measure of investors’ views on a range of asset classes and savings and investment vehicles, as well as their confidence in these areas. This year marks the fifteenth year that Manulife has conducted the survey. The index is based on an online survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 25+ that was conducted between May 14-23, 2014 by Research House, an Environics Company.

About Manulife

Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$637 billion (US$597 billion) as at June 30, 2014. We operate as John Hancock in the U.S. and as Manulife in other parts of the world.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation