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Key Facts About Retirement in Canada

The idea of retirement means something different for almost everyone. No matter what your age, if you’re not prepared for retirement it can seem daunting. In some ways you are losing a bit of your identity, in others, you are getting a well-deserved rest. 

So much of how you will feel about it depends on how much you have saved and whether your work provided you with a pension – something that is hard to find in Canada anymore. Without anyone advocating for a pension or looking to protect their employees in retirement, you are left alone and figuring it out for yourself. 

While almost every Canadian receives the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) when they retire, that often isn’t enough.


The amount of CPP you receive is based on how much you have contributed and how long you have been making those contributions to the CPP at the time you become eligible. It also depends on how old you are when you take it, with deductions applied if you take it before the age of 65. 

For millennials entering their first career job, it can seem like a distant thought. For baby boomers, it’s a reality that is just around the corner. Whatever your age may be, here are some key facts you should know about retirement in Canada:

  • Over 11 million Canadians don’t have a workplace pension plan, that is almost two-thirds of working Canadians

  • Some of the biggest concerns about retirement for Canadians is starting careers later because of more post-secondary, fewer company pension plans and increasing life expectancy

  • Currently, the average monthly CPP payment is $666.56 if taken at age 65

  • By age 55, 43 per cent of women and 27 per cent of men lack a plan for their retirement

  • Among Canadians on the verge of retirement such as Gen Xers aged 45 to 54 and Boomers up to age 64, 32 per cent have saved nothing

  • Half of Canadians without an employer pension play aged 55 to 64 have less than $3,000 saved up for retirement

  • Over 600,000 seniors live in poverty in Canada, a number that has been rising since 1990 

  • The rate of poverty in seniors is particularly high for racialized Canadians, women and single seniors

  • Fewer than one in five people over age 55 without an employer pension have enough to live in retirement for five years or more

  • Thirty-four per cent of retired people over age 55 are still carrying debt and seniors are increasing their debt loads at a much faster pace than other Canadians


  • The average retirement age in Canada is 61.5 for public sector employees, 64.2 for private sector employees and 68 for self-employed

  • The average retirement age in Canada for males is 64.2 and 62.6 for females

Retirement should be a reward, not something you dread. However, with a lack of workplace pensions it’s no longer something people are always looking forward to. After years of hard work, a good employer should want you and your family to have a dignified retirement. 



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