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The Declining Retirement Prospects of Immigrant Men


  • Derek Hum
  • Wayne Simpson


We compare the retirement prospects of immigrant men with their native-born counterparts. Using data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we estimate a significant gap of 43 percent in private pension income and 30 percent in private pension contributions between immigrants and the native born. The gap in public pension incomes is negligible and reduces the overall pension gap, but only partially. Furthermore, the pension income and contribution gap is significantly larger for more recently arrived immigrant cohorts, consistent with evidence of weaker earnings for this group. We provide age profiles of pension income and contributions and discuss problems in interpreting the results without adjusting for age. Controlling for age and earnings differences, immigrants are still about 11 percent less likely to make contributions to a private pension program, but there is no difference in the contribution rates out of earnings of those who contribute. Recently arrived immigrants are significantly less likely to make contributions to a private pension program and appear to be neglecting private pension contribution opportunities more than earlier immigrants and the native born, which may have adverse implications for Canada's public retirement programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek Hum & Wayne Simpson, 2010. "The Declining Retirement Prospects of Immigrant Men," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(3), pages 287-305, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:36:y:2010:i:3:p:287-305

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Convergence and Migration among Provinces," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 324-330, April.
    2. Robin Boadway & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Stabilization Properties of Equalization in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91-109, March.
    3. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1999. "The Economic Goals of Canada's Immigration Policy, Past and Present," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(4), pages 425-451, December.
    4. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-633, November.
    5. Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
    6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
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    1. Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Mac Innes, Hanna & Österberg, Torun, 2017. "Older People in Sweden Without Means: On the Importance of Age at Immigration for Being 'Twice Poor'," IZA Discussion Papers 11144, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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