The study makes the economic case for divestment from fossil fuels, due to risk factors such as aggressive new climate policies. It is aimed at informing pension fund trustees about the risks associated with fossil fuel investments, and for interested workers who want to better understand what their pension money is up to, and how to ask the right questions.
Seniors issues and pensions
OTTAWA—Canadian pension funds are exposed to a wide range of risks from their holdings of fossil fuels, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study makes the economic case for divestment from fossil fuels, due to risk factors such as aggressive new climate policies. A review Canadian public pension fund annual reports found that action on climate change was not mentioned as a material risk to pension sustainability.
Two recent and widely quoted studies strongly suggest that no major policy changes are needed to better ensure Canadians have adequate retirement income in future. But are they right? Not according to Michael Wolfson, a Canada Research Chair and former assistant chief statistician at Statistics Canada.
Your golden years may be farther off than you think. Canada has the highest equity mutual fund fees in the world. In fact, they’re so high that in order to offset those fees, the average mutual fund investor will have to work until age 72 to match what a pension plan holder will make by age 65, even with identical contributions.
This study compares the management fees charged by mutual funds and pension plans, and finds that high management fees will cause Canadians relying on mutual funds for their retirement income to work longer or retire with less, compared to those with pension plans. The study recommends an expansion of inexpensive workplace pension plans or public pension plans, like the CPP; and as a stopgap measure, trailers fees—the portion of mutual fund fees that go back to the advisor—could be capped or banned entirely.
The Ontario government has been consulting on how to design the province's proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). This submission to the Ontario Ministry of Finance, by CCPA-Ontario Senior Economist Sheila Block and CCPA-Research Associate Hugh Mackenzie, details how the government can get the pension plan design right for all workers in Ontario.
As Ontario begins work on an expanded public pension plan, the case for a comprehensive public plan couldn't be clearer: the private sector is not delivering retirement security to most Ontarians. Only one in four private sector workers belong to a workplace pension plan. And we know that financial services companies who offer RRSPs aren't doing the job either.
OTTAWA— Canada’s retirement income system may work well for the mutual fund industry but it’s failing individual Canadians, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Risky Business: Canada’s Retirement Income System, by economist Hugh Mackenzie, reviews the performance of the three components of Canada’s retirement income system: Old Age Security; the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans; and the private pension and individual retirement saving system.
This report reviews the performance of the three components of Canada’s retirement income system: Old Age Security; the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans; and the private pension and individual retirement saving system. Ultimately, the report finds that Canada’s retirement income system may work well for the mutual fund industry but that it’s failing individual Canadians.
Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index