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Replacing Family Income During the Retirement Years: How Are Canadians Doing?

Listed author(s):
  • Larochelle-Cote, Sebastien
  • Myles, John
  • Picot, Garnett
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    This paper examines the extent to which family income during working years is replaced during the retirement years. It does so by tracking cohorts as they age from their mid-50s to their late 70s, using a taxation-based longitudinal data source that covers 26 years from 1982 to 2007. Earlier work by the same authors examined this question with respect to the 50% of the population with strong labour force attachment during their mid-50s. This paper extends that work to include almost all Canadians (80% to 85% of the population). The adult-equivalent-adjusted family income available to the median Canadian during his or her late 70s is about 80% of that observed when the same person was in his or her mid-50s (a replacement rate of 0.8). Replacement rates in retirement are negatively correlated with income earned around age 55. Median replacement rates are 1.1 among individuals in the bottom income quintile, 0.75 in the middle quintile, and 0.7 in the top quintile. In retirement, public pensions and other transfers more than replace earnings and other income of bottom quintile individuals. However, some individuals have very low replacement rates. For example, 20% of individuals in the middle income quintile had replacement rates below 0.6. More recent cohorts had higher family incomes in retirement than did earlier cohorts as a result of higher earnings and private-pension income.

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    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2010328e.

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    Date of creation: 29 Jul 2010
    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2010328e
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