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Canada’s Looming Retirement Challenge: Will Future Retirees Be Able to Maintain Their Living Standards upon Retirement?

  • Kevin D. Moore

    (Statistics Canada)

  • William Robson

    (C.D. Howe Institute)

  • Alexandre Laurin

    (C.D. Howe Institute)

A key question in Canada’s pensions debate is whether Canadians will be able to maintain their living standards in retirement, and if policy needs to respond to the risk that some will experience painful declines.To date, it has been very difficult to estimate how current trends might affect various members of the population in the long run. In this study, we used LifePaths – a sophisticated simulation tool developed at Statistics Canada which integrates a large amount of data on the socio-economic experience of Canadians – to project consumption before and after retirement for Canadians who have not yet reached retirement age. Consistent with other research, the study finds that Canada’s retirement system has supported post-retirement consumption relatively well, especially for lower-income individuals and those who reached retirement age in the last twenty years. If ongoing behavior and economic circumstances were to persist indefinitely, however, more Canadians may find maintaining their working-life consumption in retirement more difficult.

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Article provided by C.D. Howe Institute in its journal C.D. Howe Institute Commentary.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): 317 (December)

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Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:317
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  1. Schellenberg, Grant & Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2010. "Pension Coverage and Earnings Replacement Rates Among Canadian Couples," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2010327e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Michael Hart, 2010. "A Matter of Trust: Expanding the Preclearance of Commerce between Canada and the United States," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 309, September.
  3. Schellenberg, Grant & Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2009. "Pension Coverage, Retirement Status, and Earnings Replacement Rates Among a Cohort of Canadian Seniors," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2009321e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  4. Daniel Boothby & Torben Drewes, 2010. "The Payoff: Returns to University, College and Trades Education in Canada, 1980 to 2005," e-briefs 104, C.D. Howe Institute.
  5. Brown, W. Mark & Hou, Feng & Lafrance, Amelie, 2010. "Incomes of Retirement-age and Working-age Canadians: Accounting for Home Ownership," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2010064e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  6. Picot, Garnett & Larochelle-Cote, Sebastien & Myles, John, 2008. "Income Security and Stability During Retirement in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2008306e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  7. Pierre Siklos & Andrew Spence, 2010. "Faceoff: Should the Bank of Canada Release its Projections of the Interest Rate Path? – The Cases For and Against," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 134, October.
  8. Philippe Bergevin & David Laidler, 2010. "Putting Money Back into Monetary Policy: A Monetary Anchor for Price and Financial Stability," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 312, October.
  9. Dave Sawyer & Carolyn Fischer, 2010. "Better Together? The Implications of Linking Canada-US Greenhouse Gas Policies," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 307, August.
  10. Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté & John Myles & Garnett Picot, 2008. "Income Security and Stability During Retirement in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 236, McMaster University.
  11. Jotham Peters & Chris Bataille & Nic Rivers & Mark Jaccard, 2010. "Taxing Emissions, Not Income: How to Moderate the Regional Impact of Federal Environment Policy," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 314, November.
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