More than three quarters of Canadians in British Columbia and the Prairies support increasing Canada Pension Plan benefits, according to a new national survey commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Also, 80% of people in B.C. and the Prairies support increasing federal payments to senior citizens and half of the survey respondents believe the government is moving too slowly in reforming Canada’s pension system.

“From coast to coast, Canadians support higher CPP benefits,” said CUPE National president Paul Moist. He added, “Prairie folk and British Colombians are sending a clear message to federal and provincial politicians who are currently studying ways to improve the CPP.”

The survey asked Canadians in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. their views on saving and their expectations for retirement. While many Canadians in western Canada have set up a RRSP or a tax-free savings account, 30% of those in the prairies and 35% of those in B.C. say that they are not saving for retirement—mostly because they cannot afford to.

Only one in four surveyed is fully confident that they will be able to save enough to live comfortably in retirement, and three in 10 believe they won’t have enough to live comfortably, with lower income earners being the most pessimistic.

“[Western Canadians] are concerned with their capacity to retire in comfort,” said John Gordon, national president of PSAC. “If action is not taken now, poverty will become a dire reality for more and more elderly Canadians.”

The survey also asked respondents for their preference on different types of pension plans. In light of the toll the economic downturn has taken on pensions, it’s no surprise that two thirds prefer a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

The Future of Pensions poll was completed by Environics Research Group in late August for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The national poll surveyed 2,020 Canadians and has a margin of error of +/-2.2 per cent 19 times out of 20. Responses in the Prairies have a margin of error of +/-4.4 per cent 19 times out of 20.

Related links:

Pension reform update: CPP and Bill 120

Canadians support increase in CPP

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

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