Majority of all Canadians still no workplace pension plan

John Anderson

Overall pension coverage for all Canadian workers declined from 48.4% in 1977 to 38.4% in 2011. This decline was caused by the huge decline in male workers covered. The number of male Canadians covered by pension plans (Registered Pension Plans) has declined dramatically to 37% of employed male workers in 2011 from 52% in 1977. These dramatic figures are found in a new Statcan report New facts on pension coverage in Canada by Marie Drolet and René Morissette

But the drop in overall male pension coverage is not the only bad news for men in this study. In 2012 only 24% of employed men 25-54 are now in a defined benefit plan (DBP), the best kind of pension plan. Overall the coverage for men in DBPs is 25.4% in 2011 a decline from 48.4% in 1977.

Women had better news in the report.This is because a higher percentage of women than men are now employed in very large numbers in education, health and other public sector jobs which tend to be unionized and have a pension plan.

Total pension coverage for women increased from 36% in 1977 to 40% in 2011; while defined benefit plan coverage for women reached 33% in 2012, much higher than that for men! But women’s DBP coverage also declined (though less than for men) from 34.5% in 1977  to 31.1% in 2011.

However even though women have made major progress, most women (along with most men) are still not covered by pension plans and even fewer men or women have a defined benefit plan.

This is why we need improved and expanded Canada and Quebec Pension Plans as soon as possible! These plans are universal for all workers, portable, indexed to inflation and are defined benefit plans.

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