It’s an age-old problem…how do you get capital accumulation plan (CAP) members engaged in retirement planning and encourage them to take responsibility for their own savings? To some extent, it’s a matter of timing.

As employees go through various stages of life, their concerns and priorities change. Those in their 20s may not prioritize saving for retirement—despite the importance of actively contributing to employer-sponsored plans from an early age—because it just seems too far off to worry about. Those in their 30s and 40s are often preoccupied with more immediate financial concerns such as childcare, mortgages and paying down debt. And while those nearing retirement may be more aware of their employer-sponsored plans, they may also need more information and assistance.

How can we engage CAP members at each age and life stage? What mediums and methods work best to communicate with different groups? What role might social media play in sharing plan information? How can plan sponsors and the CAP industry at large ensure that members are receiving the guidance they need at each stage to reach their retirement goals?

Our 2011 survey tackled some of these issues. The theme of this year’s research is Ages and Stages: Meeting CAP Member Needs Across the Retirement Spectrum, focusing on strategies and tactics for engaging all members—from younger plan members, to the middle-aged, to those in the pre-retirement stage. We also uncovered significant differences in the views and perceptions of different demographic groups: between men and women, between employees in different provinces and across income brackets.

The results, in some cases, were surprising. Clearly, there are gaps—in knowledge among plan members, in the messages that employees are receiving and in our perceptions of different demographic groups versus what they have to say. There are no easy solutions, but in this report, our expert panel offers action items to help employers address the engagement issue for employees of all ages. We hope you find the results insightful, engaging—and timely.

The 6th annual Benefits Canada CAP member research study was conducted by Rogers Connect Market Research Group online between late June and early July 2011, with 1,223 Canadians who participate in a DC pension plan or group RRSP provided through their employer. In addition, surveys were conducted with 109 Canadians who are offered a DC pension plan or group RRSP by their employer but do not participate in the plan.

Get a PDF of the 2011 CAP Member Survey.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in Benefits Canada.

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