Canadians are experiencing a high level of anxiety about their ability to save for retirement in a new survey that indicates 63 per cent haven’t put aside anything in the past year. 

The third annual Canadian Retirement Survey from Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and Abacus Data, also found that many people believe there is a need for better access to workplace pensions to avoid a retirement crisis. 

The survey, taken this past April, indicates that almost half of those questioned (48 per cent) said they are “very concerned” about not having enough money to retire. This was greater than concern for their own physical health (44 per cent), mental health (40 per cent), debt load (31 per cent) and job security (26 per cent).

Many pressures challenge Canadians to save for retirement 

“After more than a year of COVID-19, Canadians remain steadfast in their personal and societal concerns around retirement security,” said Steven McCormick, senior vice president, Plan Operations, HOOPP. “As day-to-day financial pressures mount for some and ease for others, Canadians across the board are acutely aware of the importance, and challenge, of saving for retirement.” 

For the third straight year, Canadians also widely recognize that workplace pensions are key to the solution. About 71 per cent said they are willing to forgo a higher salary for a (better) pension plan. 

Some 75 per cent agree that without good workplace pensions, the economy will suffer, and in the absence of those pensions, 74 per cent said individuals will become a burden on taxpayers. 

“These findings, consistent with prior years, point to a clear desire among Canadians for greater access to workplace pensions,” said McCormick. “As business leaders and decision-makers plan for our post-COVID ‘new normal,’ it’s clear that Canadians would strongly support improvements to retirement security for everyone.”