Pension Percolator blog
What’s brewing for BC and the Canadian retirement landscape.
May 3, 2018
If you’re a millennial in BC’s Municipal Pension Plan, you may wonder how news stories with headlines like “Millennials falling behind on retirement savings” apply to you and your personal retirement goals. Let’s take a look.
The National Institute on Retirement Security, based in Washington, DC, recently released a study: “Millennials and Retirement: Already Falling Short.” The study found that that two-thirds of working American millennials have nothing saved for retirement, and only five per cent are saving enough.
The millennial generation (born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s) needs to save more than previous generations because your life expectancy is anticipated to be higher than theirs – but with harsher economic realities, saving money and investing are challenges. That’s why, according to the study, nearly half of you are concerned that you won’t be able to retire when you want. It’s also why pension plans are so important.
As a millennial member of Municipal Pension Plan, you don’t need to climb the retirement mountain on your own. Municipal provides you with several advantages:
- Every time you contribute to your pension plan, your employer also makes a contribution.
- Your contributions are pooled with the contributions of other plan members and invested by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI, formerly bcIMC), one of Canada’s leading public sector investment managers. Its mandate is to maximize your pension in a responsible way that keeps it secure for the future. In fact, 75 cents of every pension dollar is paid by investment returns.
- Trustees oversee the plan to make sure it remains strong and secure; their work is guided by provincial and federal legislation and industry best practices. Public sector pension plans in Canada are recognized worldwide for having innovative design, sound approach to investment, and stringent governance and accountability frameworks. Municipal Pension Plan is one of these.
Does this mean your comfortable retirement is taken care of and there’s nothing more for you to do? Not quite. Think of your pension plan as one leg of a three-legged stool; the other legs are your government pension through Canada Pension Plan and your personal savings through an RRSP, a TFSA or both. When you have all three legs, your retirement savings plan sits on solid footing. Check out our learning article, “How sturdy is your retirement income?,” for more information.
Choices you may make throughout your career affect your pension. Millennials are likely to change jobs several times. The good news is that your pension can move with you if your new employer participates in a pension plan that has a reciprocal agreement with Municipal Pension Plan. Municipal allows you to preserve and combine the retirement benefits you earn under multiple employers. As a member, you can also buy pensionable time to make up for times when you’re not active in a job – for example, during a parental leave. The key is learning how to make the most beneficial choices for your retirement savings as soon as you see a change on the horizon.
Time, and a pension plan like Municipal, is a millennial’s best ally. Sign in to My Account today to view your personalized pension estimates. I also invite you to sign up for a plan workshop or take an eLearning course on the plan website to better understand your pension. Last but not least, follow the plan on Twitter to stay up to date.
Is there something you would like to know more about? Suggest a blog topic to me on Twitter: @MyBCMPP
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Municipal Pension Board of Trustees.
Judy Payne is the Executive Director
of the Municipal Pension Plan