Monday, 28 November 2011

"Something Will Work Out" Retirement Planning

Benefits Canada reports in Retirement income adequacy still a problem for pension plan members some scary results of a survey of pension plan members by pension consultants Towers Watson. That people "just aren't getting it" and not even using such retirement tools as employers make available and just hoping and trusting that "something will work out" for retirement doesn't augur well for the future. The article also notes the continuing shift from Defined Benefit pension plans to Defined Contribution retirement savings plans, which places more onus on the individual to both save enough and to invest wisely. Towers Watson goes on from these to talk of other warning signs. Is all this likely to work out well?

Meanwhile, the progress (recently tabled federal legislation) on the federal government retirement solution for the private sector, the DC-type Pooled Retirement Pension Plan, is revealing some interesting features of the PRPPs. The banks and insurance companies are apparently objecting to established pension plans like OMERS trying to get in on the action claiming that OMERS has unfair advantages on costs and regulation. Hmm, so now we see an admission that PRPPs run by banks cannot and will not do as good a job (costs, planning assistance etc) as traditional DB pension plans run by purpose-built organizations for public servants. Is there something wrong here?

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