Canadians More Confident About Retirement than Americans

Nearly 60% of Canadians are confident in their ability to save for retirement versus fewer than 40% of Americans. 

These statistics are the results of a survey released by BMO Financial Group on a cross-border study examining how Canadians and Americans feel about planning and saving for retirement.

The study found 71% of Canadians are concerned about the performance of their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), while almost 90% of U.S. residents express similar concerns about the performance of their 401(k).

During a press call, Tina Di Vito, head of the BMO Retirement Institute said, “People are wondering if they will ever be able to save enough for retirement.”

The survey also found that half of Canadians and Americans say they have or may have to delay their retirement and/or work part-time during retirement due to a shortage of retirement savings.

“Despite the effect that the 2008 global recession had on investors’ abilities to save for retirement, the Canadian economy has fared significantly better than what’s been seen in the U.S.; this has contributed to our more optimistic outlook,” added Di Vito. “It’s telling, however, that half of respondents in both countries feel that they may need to delay their retirement or hold down a job during retirement.”

Additionally, the survey found almost two-thirds of Canadians have an RRSP in place, while only 34% of Americans invest in a 401(k).

Todd Perala, director, relationship management, BMO Institutional Trust Services, mentioned during the press call that as the Baby Boomer generation is hitting retirement, many are finding they will need to work longer to save.

“Employees that remain healthy enough will avoid retirement long past the retirement age,” he said. “It’s difficult to envision what this will do to the workplace. Will employers be stuck with older workers that they don’t really want? The next challenge for the retirement industry is to help predict retirement readiness.”

The Canadian survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from November 21 to 24, 2011, with a sample of 1,520 Canadians, 18 years of age or older. The U.S. survey was also conducted by Leger Marketing from November 3 to 8, 2011, with a sample of 1,032 Americans, 18 years of age or older.