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Income inequality divides millennials and boomers

Income inequality divides millennials and boomers It seems there is substance to all that anecdotal chatter about 20-somethings returning to the nest after taking off for school and other life lessons, only to find the cost of going it alone too much for a paltry income to sustain. There’s nothing new about young people landing back on their parents’ couch after flying ...more

Municipalities and pension funds natural match of need and opportunity, says chair of LUMCO

Municipalities and pension funds natural match of need and opportunity, says chair of LUMCO Ontario municipalities need capital for infrastructure projects, big and small, while Canada’s big pension plans have an appetite for investing in such projects. It could be the perfect union of need and opportunity, says the chair of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO). Jeff Lehman, mayor of Barrie and chair of LUMCO, recently wrote ...more

Business needs to make the case for adequate retirement income

Business needs to make the case for adequate retirement income The retired couple contacted his office about a stark choice confronting them: food or heat. They didn’t have enough money for both. A growing number of reports and anecdotal evidence suggests they aren’t alone, as people across Canada struggle with inadequate retirement income, suggesting that the oft-discussed retirement crisis is now at the doorstep of many ...more

Retirees take aim at feds’ target benefit plans

Retirees take aim at feds’ target benefit plans Getting on the bad side of retired Canadians is never a good idea, a lesson one might have thought today’s generation of politicians would have learned from Brian Mulroney when he tried to de-index pensions back in 1986. After incurring the wrath of seniors, particular one irate elderly woman who told him during a protest on ...more

Voluntary ‘doesn’t work’ as a retirement model: Don Ezra

Voluntary ‘doesn’t work’ as a retirement model: Don Ezra In a perfect world Canadians would be saving enough of their working income to provide for a comfortable and secure retirement. But there’s lots of evidence to conclude that when it comes to retirement planning, it’s far from a perfect world. There is plenty of information to suggest that left to their own devices Canadians can’t ...more

Overall lack of pensions narrows retirement income gap between men and women

Overall lack of pensions narrows retirement income gap between men and women As today’s women shatter glass ceiling after glass ceiling they are narrowing the gap with men in all walks of life. However, when it comes to retirement income, the lack of adequate pension provision for both sexes is becoming an unfortunate equalizer. The absence of workplace pension plans has resulted in a kind of race to ...more

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan Whether it’s NEST in the United Kingdom, Australia’s superannuation system, the KiwiSaver in New Zealand, or the new VRSP in Quebec, all have one thing in common: a realization that people need some sort of nudge to help them save for retirement. The DC-type plans have some key differences, but a core element is a requirement ...more

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor Retirement anxiety is a real and tangible concern for millions of Canadians. More than 60 per cent don’t have an occupational pension plan, and for them the traditional notion of the ‘golden years’ is fast becoming unattainable. Efforts are being made to solve the riddle of inadequate retirement income, with solutions including the promised Ontario Retirement ...more

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever As Canadian pension plans surge back towards surplus on the strength of stellar 2013 investment returns, cooler heads realize the good times won’t last forever and that funds need to continue to manage risk to keep the pension benefits flowing to retirees. Leo de Bever seems to fit comfortably into this group of cautious managers. The ...more

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits Canadians are becoming increasingly anxious that their retirement years may not be as golden as once imagined, and they are willing to bargain with employers to achieve greater retirement security. A report by Towers Watson, the Global Benefits Attitude Survey, reveals Canadians are so concerned about their retirement readiness, they are willing to trade wages for ...more

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay The Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison McKay as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Alison was selected to replace former CEO Brad Garvey who left the organisation in April, 2013 due to a sudden and unexpected illness. “I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead as SHEPP builds on recent ...more

ARIA exclusive: Adequate retirement income good for people and economy: Murray Gold

ARIA exclusive: Adequate retirement income good for people and economy: Murray Gold Even though analysis shows that an expanded Canada Pension (CPP) would benefit younger Canadians more than it would boomers at or near retirement’s door, some opponents of higher contributions to pay for better benefits insist younger Canadians would be footing the bill for an older generation that hasn’t saved enough. It would take decades for higher ...more

Increased longevity fuels retirement-income anxiety

Increased longevity fuels retirement-income anxiety The good news is that Canadians are indeed living longer and generally healthier lives. The bad news is that where there is life there is expense and Canadians, notably those not in a defined benefit pension plan, have to come up with the money to fund those extra years. And as Ian Markham, Retirement Innovation Leader ...more

Data shows pension coverage a problem for the private sector

Data shows pension coverage a problem for the private sector Pension experts across the developed world agree that a retirement crisis driven by the lack of adequate retirement income will have serious consequences for individuals and economies. The range of dire outcomes from not having enough retirement income include an increase in the rates of senior poverty, people simply not having enough income to ever fully ...more

Savings program designed to get workers in the habit of preparing for retirement

Savings program designed to get workers in the habit of preparing for retirement It’s not a pension plan, but it does have at least one important component of one: payroll deduction. And one of the hopes for it is that it will at least get low-income people without much in the way of potential retirement money to begin saving. The myIRA concept Barrack Obama announced in his State of ...more

NB retirees continue to fight for their pensions

NB retirees continue to fight for their pensions Politicians have learned to tread lightly when it comes to retirees and their pensions. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will likely attest to that, remembering his encounter with a senior citizen during a 1986 protest in Ottawa. Mulroney had made a decision to partly de-index pensions, a move that earned the ire of protester Solange Denis, ...more

Lack of CPP reform unfair to younger Canadians: Mathyssen

Lack of CPP reform unfair to younger Canadians: Mathyssen Intergenerational fairness is a term often used in the context of pension reform, with opponents of measures to improve retirement security often asking whether younger Canadians should be on the hook for boomers who haven’t been able to accumulate sufficient retirement income. The chatter is most often heard in relation to proposals to beef up Canada ...more

Time to deal with retirement insecurity: Rankin

Time to deal with retirement insecurity: Rankin As Murray Rankin moves across the country meeting with ordinary Canadians “of a certain age” about pressing issues of today and tomorrow, including the provision of adequate retirement income, he wishes he could see some younger faces in the crowds. Particularly on retirement issues, which many experts and observers predict will impact younger Canadians as much ...more

We’re All Invested – DB plans “part of the solution” in addressing retirement income crisis

We’re All Invested – DB plans “part of the solution” in addressing retirement income crisis A retirement income crisis awaits us if action is not taken on expanding workplace pension coverage in Ontario and across the country. That was one of the key messages delivered at “We’re All Invested,” an information session held March 17 at the MaRS Centre in Toronto. The event was sponsored by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension ...more

Alberta pension plans set to return to surplus without any changes: McGowan of the AFL

Alberta pension plans set to return to surplus without any changes: McGowan of the AFL Public sector pension plans are the cornerstone of retirement security for more than 300,000 Albertans, and if changes need to be made to them, the reasons should be justified and transparent, says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. However, the changes to the province’s pension plans being pushed by the Alberta government are ...more

In The Headlines
UK’s auto-enrol system faces crisis of missed deadlines – ARIA post

(Oct. 24, 2014) The United Kingdom’s auto-enrolment pension system could be headed for a crisis as small businesses “are leaving it too late” to meet enrolment deadlines, reports the Startup Donut. More than a million small businesses are in danger of missing enrolment deadlines, according to research for British pension insurer, NOW: Pensions. “And from June ...more

Millennials step up retirement savings – ARIA post

(Oct. 24, 2014) The future is becoming more of a priority for employees of all ages, according to new research into retirement thinking. A new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch “reveals trends in the behaviors of financial benefit plan participants,”including millennials who are taking greater interest in their retirement prospects. Almost 40,000 members of this cohort, ...more

DB assets grow for fifth consecutive quarter – ARIA post

(Oct. 24, 2014) Despite market turmoil, Canada’s DB pension assets grew for the fifth consecutive quarter, reports Benefits Canada. According to the latest survey from RBC Investor & Treasury Services, DB plans returned 1.1 per cent during the year’s third quarter, “resulting in a year-to-date increase of 8.6 per cent,” reports Benefits Canada. However, plan liabilities have likely increased ...more

Virginia pension plans see funded status grow – ARIA post

(Oct. 23, 2014) In another sign that pension plans are recovering from losses incurred from the Great Recession, Virginia’s public sector pension plans improved for the first time since that financial crisis, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The five major plans administered by the Virginia Retirement System all posted gains in funded status, reports The Times-Dispatch. On June 30, ...more

With DC, employers shift retirement risk to employees – ARIA post

(Oct. 23, 2014) How scarce are traditional pensions becoming in the private sector? Well, of Fortune 500 companies surveyed last year, only seven per cent were still offering defined benefit pensions to new hires, writes Jonnelle Marte in the Washington Post. Traditional pensions, she notes, are few and far between in the private sector, and even ...more

Retirees worry benefits could be clawed back – ARIA post

(Oct. 23, 2014) Unions say that changes to public sector pension plans in the NWT could see benefits clawed back from people who are already retired, reports CBC News. Close to 150 people representing a number of labour groups protested outside the NWT legislature to draw attention to Bill 12, the Northern Employees Benefits Pension Plan Act, ...more

Younger American educators say their retirement road is harder to travel – ARIA post

(Oct. 23, 2014) When they consider their retirement prospects, a majority of younger American educators believe they have a tougher road to travel than that of older generations. Of those educators who are members of the Gen X and Gen Y cohorts, 68 per cent say it’s harder for them to save for retirement than it ...more

NB in an ‘absolute breach of trust’ over COLA limits – ARIA post

(Oct. 22, 2014) New Brunswick retirees are continuing their legal efforts to overturn measures taken by the provincial government that impacts their pensions, reports the Canadian Labour Reporter. The Pension Coalition NB, representing 13,000 retired public sector employees, is fighting the government over changes made to their pensions that make the delivery of cost-of-living allowances conditional on ...more

Hedge fund review ‘hasn’t crept north’ – ARIA post

(Oct. 22, 2014) More American pension plans are reviewing whether external hedge funds should invest some of their money, reports the Globe and Mail, a development that doesn’t seem to be unfolding in Canada. Canadian plans don’t typically comment on investment strategies, but those that will indicate “no plans to radically shift their strategies, suggesting the ...more

Improve pension systems by recognizing ‘abysmal failure’ of DC – ARIA post

(Oct. 22, 2014) Reacting to the annual Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index report, Leo Kolivakis, publisher of Pension Pulse, writes that the report “offers little in terms of improving global pension systems.” He continues that he has firm views on what needs to be done to improve pension systems. “First, they need to admit that defined-contribution (DC) plans ...more

OTPP acquires stake in leading laundry and air vending service – ARIA post

(Oct. 22, 2014) The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) has agreed to acquire a 29.7 per cent interest in CSC ServiceWorks, a leading North American route-based service provider of multi-family housing and commercial laundry services. The business is also a global leader in air vending services to convenience stores and gas stations, with more than 1.4 million machines ...more

Saskatoon drivers back on the bus, but without agreement – ARIA post

(Oct. 21, 2014) Saskatoon transit riders are happy that the City and its transit drivers have ended the four week transit shutdown, reports the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. The City of Saskatoon pulled back a second transit lockout notice, and promised free rides until the end of the month. Although the lockout is over, it’s hard to tell if it ...more

Denmark struggles with ‘prudent investment’ model – ARIA post

(Oct. 21, 2014) Denmark is set to strengthen oversight of its $500 billion pension industry “after regulators observed a surge in risk-taking linked in part to more widespread use of hedge funds,” reports www.bloomberg.com. Pension funds will be required to summit quarterly reports to the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority, “to track their use of hedge funds, exposure to ...more

NJ omits ‘true detail’ of how parts of system are well funded – ARIA post

(Oct. 21, 2014) New Jerseys’s Governor’s Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission initial report doesn’t include “any true detail as to how well funded parts of the pension system are or how the state intentionally undermines pension funding,” writes Patrick Colligan at www.ny.com. Many parts of the state’s pension system operate efficiently and effective, with the truth being ...more

Substantial number of employees unaware of plan type – ARIA post

(Oct. 20, 2014) Public sector pension plans in the United States have been under review for the past several years as policymakers seek to make them more sustainable. Since 2009, 48 states have enacted some type of change to their plans, from higher employee contributions to increased retirement ages. The changes have the need for members to ...more

Quebec premier says he won’t back down – ARIA post

(Oct. 20, 2014) Despite ongoing and vocal protests by unions and civic employees, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he isn’t going to back away from austerity measures, including those aimed at pension plans, reports the Globe and Mail. He told party members at a meeting in Trois-Rivieres that his government won’t be “distracted by those opposed ...more

Current trends suggest higher liabilities – ARIA post

(Oct. 20, 2014) An advisory from Towers Watson suggests pension plans may be headed for rougher waters after a period of smooth sailing, reports www.bpmmagazine.com. The warnings come from record low bond yields and falling stock markets, and means that plans “are on course to revisit some of the financial anxiety of the recent past,” according to ...more

Financial literacy campaign reaches out for support – ARIA post

(Oct. 20, 2014) The federal government’s initiative to bolster the financial literacy of Canadians is looking to involve organizations offering such efforts, reports www.bpmmagazine.com. The campaign’s first goal is to strengthen the overall financial literacy of Canada’s seniors. Jane Rooney, appointed Canada’s financial literacy leader, is co-ordinating “its implementation as part of an overall national strategy for ...more

CPPIB steps up interest in insurer – ARIA post

(Oct. 17, 2014) A Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) owned insurer is buying the Canadian arm of Netherlands based insurance company Aegon N.V., reports the Globe and Mail. Purchase price is $600-million, reports The Globe. The business, primarily consisting “of an individual life insurance provider called Transamerica Life Canada, will be wrapped into U.S. insurance and reinsurance ...more

Lack of retirement income and ageism leave seniors behind – ARIA post

(Oct. 17, 2014) On Oct. 1, Canadians joined with citizens of other nations to mark the United Nations’ International Day of the Older Person, with the theme of ‘Leaving No one Behind: Promoting a Society for All.’ Yet, in Canada, writes Isobel MacKenzie in the Prince George Citizen, Canadian seniors are being left behind by ageism and ...more