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Pension Coverage and Retirement Savings of Canadian Families, 1986 to 2003


  • Morissette, Rene
  • Ostrovsky, Yuri


We analyze the degree to which Canadian families are covered by private pension plans and document how their savings for retirement (made through contributions to tax-assisted retirement savings programs) have evolved over the last two decades. We find that two-parent families, lone-parent families and other individuals located in the bottom quintile of the earnings distribution are not better prepared for retirement than their counterparts were in the mid-1980s or the early 1990s. On the other hand, those located in the top quintile are better prepared than their counterparts were in the mid-1980s or the early 1990s. As a result, Canadian families' preparedness for retirement, which was fairly unequal in the mid-1980s, has become even more unequal over the last two decades. This finding has important implications for the future. Recent research has shown that the maturation of the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (C/QPPs) has led to a substantial reduction in income inequality among the elderly between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. In the absence of offsetting trends, the growing inequality in Canadian families preparedness for retirement implies that that the distribution of family income among seniors should become more unequal in the years to come.

Suggested Citation

  • Morissette, Rene & Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2006. "Pension Coverage and Retirement Savings of Canadian Families, 1986 to 2003," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006286e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2006286e

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    References listed on IDEAS

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