While Canadian workers feel their financial situation has improved in the last two years, a survey finds that financial security is still a top concern.

According to the Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitude Survey, half of the respondents under the age of 50 are worried about their current and future financial states.

“The survey results suggest there are multiple sources contributing to this financial anxiety,” says Karen Burnett, a senior Towers Watson retirement consultant. “Among them is the lack of confidence in financial support from public benefits.”

Less than one-third of the survey respondents believe that old age security and the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan will continue to provide the same level of benefits in the future as they do today, and more than 70% of respondents believe Canadians will see diminished coverage under provincial healthcare benefits.

Canadian workers also continue to struggle with the corporate cutbacks of the past five years. According to the survey, 76% of Canadian workers have endured cuts in salary increases and benefits, or have lived through significant organizational change.

“While corporate profitability has improved and rising stock prices have boosted retirement accounts,” says Burnett, “slow economic growth and stagnant wages continue to weigh on public confidence and contribute to a continued fear about a retirement crisis in Canada.”

The survey results show that Canadians are tackling their concerns about financial security head-on—by deferring expenditures, paying down debt and living more modest lifestyles. They are also saving more for retirement. Close to two-thirds of survey respondents 40 or older rank saving for retirement as their No. 1 priority.

While saving for retirement may be the top financial priority for Canadians, the survey results demonstrate that many are not saving enough. Three-quarters of respondents are saving below their ideal target, and only half of the survey respondents believe they will be able to improve their financial prospects.

In light of growing retirement pressures for both employers and employees, there are a number of actions that Canadian organizations can take in order to assess the effectiveness of their retirement programs and help employees plan for retirement.

Burnett says there needs to be a better integration between employee retirement communication and education with organizational workforce planning. “The technology and tools exist to close gaps in employee understanding about how much retirement will cost, and to provide employers with the analytics to determine if their retirement programs will support a structure that aligns with their workforce needs.”

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Robert in Vancouver:

Most Canadians worry about government benefits being reduced in the future.

Yet most of them oppose things that will pay for those benefits (pipelines, oil-sands projects, mines, fracking, free-trade, casinos, cheap power such as coal and nuclear, and business in general.)

So, I hope they get what they deserve, little or nothing.

Friday, February 21 at 7:05 pm | Reply

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