Pension Percolator

What’s brewing for BC and the Canadian retirement landscape. 


June 29, 2017

Survey says: Canadians want retirement income security 

As one of the largest pension plans in Canada, BC's Municipal Pension Plan strives to be a leader and effective participant in the pension industry. The Municipal Pension Board of Trustees is committed to promoting awareness of the plan and its value to our members and others.

The Canadian Public Pension Leadership Council (CPPLC) is a non-partisan group of Canadian public sector pension plan senior administrators who work together on joint research projects that contribute to a national evidence-based conversation on retirement income security. I am honoured to co-chair the council, together with Derek Dobson from Ontario’s College of Applied Arts & Technology (CAAT) pension plan.

CPPLC hosted a day-long forum at Ryerson University in Toronto on April 13, 2017. The forum convened trustees and senior pension leaders with roots in 25 public pension organizations from across Canada, with the goal of holding a national discussion on issues of interest to the public pension community.

Key to the forum discussion was new research by CPPLC: a survey to learn more about Canadians’ current values and attitudes towards retirement income. One thousand Canadians from across the country participated, and the results were shared in a series of reports released at the forum. Recognized pension expert Bob Baldwin wrote a report on the findings called The Pensions Canadians Want: The Results of a National Survey, while CPPLC authored a key findings summary. In his report at the forum, Baldwin shared these key findings:

  1. Canadians value the features typically found in defined benefit (DB) plans and would be willing to pay to secure those features
  2. Members of workplace pension plans, especially those participating in DB plans, have greater confidence than their peers that they will be prepared for retirement
  3. Canadians are finding ways to adapt to meet retirement objectives, such as retiring later or supplementing retirement income through additional employment

Read The Pensions Canadians Want: The Results of a National Survey and the key findings on the CPPLC’s website.

This research is important because it counters the arguments of pundits who claim public sector pensions are out of step with working Canadians.  In truth, Municipal Pension Plan's retired members receive modest pensions that they contribute to throughout their working lives. In fact, as of December 31, 2015, the plan’s average annual pension in pay was $17,400 and the median annual pension in pay was $12,400. These pensions are not overly generous—but they are secure and guaranteed to the members who earn them.

Knowing they have a reliable stream of income in retirement that won’t fluctuate with the markets is incredibly valuable for our members’ peace of mind.   


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Disclaimer

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.


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Judy Payne is the Executive Director
of the Municipal Pension Plan