February 15, 2022

Canadians want flexibility when it comes to retirement income

Canadians have been bombarded with advice about how to save for retirement but, until recently, they’ve been left on their own when it comes time to tap their nest eggs.

Retire That’s why products offering the prospect of a guaranteed income in retirement have gained massive appeal, particularly in the aftermath of the most recent financial crisis.

Nonetheless, it appears that most of us want the best of both worlds when it comes to retirement income planning – a guaranteed income stream and the flexibility to access funds whenever they choose.

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November 24, 2021

Public service pension shortfall tops $65 billion: C.D. Howe

As the first wave of baby boomers heads to retirement, the nation is dividing into two classes of workers: those who have public service pensions and those who don't.

Money Retired government workers are twice as likely to get a pension as their counterparts in the private sector, and the typical benefit is far more generous, according to a recent C.D. Howe Institute report.

At present, pension-plan members account for a third of total contributions on average whereas the government — through the taxpayer ­— makes up the rest.

Backing promises to public service workers, the RCMP and Canadian Forces would actually require contribution rates of 35, 41, and 42 per cent of pay respectively, the report declares.

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November 02, 2021

Is it smart to take early CPP benefits?

Last week, MSN readers weighed in on the merits of earning possibly increased benefits from the Canada Pension Plan. The consensus: Good idea, but who's going to end up paying for it?

But for middle-aged Canadians struggling to figure out just what pension income they can count on, that conversation is way in the future. Their more immediate question: How much can I anticipate from CPP and when can I get at it?

Generally speaking, you can expect to receive about 25 per cent of the earnings you put into the plan for life, providing you wait until 65. But most Canadians – about two thirds of us – don’t wait that long, jumping on board at age 60 for the most part.

And that’s not going to be as easy as it once was. 

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October 27, 2021

Canada's pension system continues to rank high: report

Looking for a good place to retire? Try Holland.

For the second year in a row, the Netherlands obtained the top spot in a ranking of pension systems from around the world, earning a score of 78.3 out of 100.

Canada ranked fifth with a score of 69.9, ahead of the United States, United Kingdom and France, while China ranked worst with a score of 40.3.

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October 20, 2021

Time to increase Canada Pension Plan benefits: poll

Worried that they won't have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement, Canadians are pushing for enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan, according to a new poll.

Almost eight in 10 respondents — 78% — said they support increasing CPP benefits. The idea was most popular among those currently earning between $30,000 and $60,000.

Just over 80% said they support increasing Old Age Security payments as well – no mention of just how to do that, of course.

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September 16, 2021

Couples disagree when it comes to retirement: study

Do men and women view retirement differently? It would seem so.

Fidelity Investments has found that while married couples generally agree on the types of retirement products they've earmarked for retirement, they frequently disagree on their plans and expectations for their later years.

The study also found that while couples may not be giving each other the silent treatment, they aren’t having many conversations about serious financial matters either.

That’s too bad, since women are more likely than men to spend part of their retirement alone, making it even more important for them to participate in retirement discussions.

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August 30, 2021

Retirement calculators often little short of misleading: report

What’s all the fuss about retirement planning?

All you have to do is go online to any number of web sites, key in some basic information, and seconds later, there’s your retirement mapped out for you. It’s easier than ordering pizza.

But can you count on those results?

Probably not, according to a recent study from the Society of Actuaries which suggests that most web-based calculators are seriously flawed.

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August 09, 2021

Attack on pension plans coming to Canada?

There’s a class war coming to the world of government pensions, predicts Ron Lieber in the New York Times. At issue is whether commitments made to retired public servants by government pension funds can be scaled back in dire economic times.

Of course, it’s already happening in some jurisdictions.

Earlier this year, Colorado legislators passed a pension overhaul bill which, among other things, trimmed the inflation-related boost that workers who are already retired get in their pension cheques each year.

The bill reduced the pension system's cost-of-living adjustment from a fixed 3.5% a year to a maximum of 2% — but possibly less for current and future retirees — increasing contributions from employees and employers at the same time.

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June 24, 2021

Time to catch up on pension splitting tax savings

Up until a few years ago, households where one retiree’s income was greater than their partner’s ended up paying significantly more tax than a household with a similar total income, but split evenly.

Now, however, pensioners are able to split their corporate pension plan income with their spouse or common law partner. Previously, they were unable to split any pension income, except in the case of the Canada Pension Plan.

To be eligible to split pension income, your spouse or common-law partner must be resident in Canada and you must be living together at the end of the year.

If you’ve been missing out on this somehow, here’s the good news: The election to split pension income can be made for up to three years after the election due date, notes tax planner Evelyn Jacks. Therefore, if you qualify, you’re still eligible to make the election for the past three tax years by filing the T1032 form with CRA.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

June 22, 2021

Should affluent retirees still receive government benefits?

Those Canadians who’ve prepared for their retirement are going to be responsible for taking care of a “sizable” part of the population that didn’t get around to it, warns federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

And we’re talking about a lot of people.

According to a recent TD study, while more than 36 per cent of Canadians can't wait to stop working and enjoy life, another 30 per cent say that even thinking about saving for retirement makes their hearts pound because they don’t see how they can do it.

Which explains why, on average, over 50 per cent of Canadians’ retirement income comes from government transfers, according to a new report from Russell Investments Canada.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...