Letter to the Editor
It’s a mystery: no one here at Benefits Canada seems to know who sent Mayor Ford a copy of our magazine. But here are his thoughts on our publication and our industry:
Dear Alyssa Hodder,
Thank you for sending me a copy of your publication entitled Benefits Canada; the gesture is much appreciated. The issue’s coverage of DC and DB retirement plans was both informative and interesting. Indeed, your efforts help to both maintain an innovative environment and broaden Canadian industry.
As promised during the mayoral election, I am dedicated to delivering excellence in citizen outreach, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government, and building a transportation city. I remain committed to making Toronto a great city in which to live, work and play.
Mayor Rob Ford
City of Toronto
Canada’s retirement system remains strong
Here at home, our retirement system receives a lot of criticism—but compared with other advanced nations, the country isn’t doing too badly. Canada held on to sixth position in the recently released Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, underscoring its status as one of the best retirement systems in the world.
This year, Canada’s index value fell slightly to 67.9 from 69.2 in 2012, according to the index (produced by Mercer and the Australian Centre for Financial Studies). Still, Canada maintained a B grade in the ranking, which indicates a system with a sound structure and many good features, but with room for some improvement.
“Canada’s retirement system continues to be one of the strongest systems in the world and stands to benefit from rising long-term interest rates,” says Scott Clausen, a partner in Mercer’s retirement business. “Canada has been able to maintain its strong rating by providing a combination of universal pensions, incometested pensions, employer pensions and individual RRSPs, although there is always room for improvement.”
These improvements include the provision of pension plans to more employees and an increase in the retirement savings levels of middle-income households, Clausen explains.
Denmark is the top performer in the ranking, scoring 80.2 with an A grade, thanks to its high level of assets and contributions, its provision of adequate benefits and a private pension system with developed regulations. Other top-ranked countries are the Netherlands (B+), Australia (B+), Switzerland (B) and Sweden (B).
The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index is now in its fifth year and covers 20 countries. It looks at both the publicly funded and private components of a system, as well as personal assets and savings outside the pension system.
This month in numbers
61: the retirement age of Canada’s average public sector worker, compared with 63 for the average private sector employee — 2013 Canadian Federation of Independent Business report, Canada’s Two-tier Retirements
And the winner is…
Click here to find out the winners of the 2013 Workplace Health & Benefits Awards.
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