Canadian Layoffs Hurt Pension Coverage

June 1, 2010 ( – New data shows that half of Canadians who found work after being laid off “significantly” affected their retirement income by taking a position earning less in hourly wages than their former job.

The Vancouver Sun reported that 20% of laid off workers lost their employer-sponsored pension coverage when they changed jobs, according to the Statistics Canada analysis.   “Employer-sponsored private pension plans are an important component of Canadians’ retirement income,” Statistics Canada explained.

The study suggests that Canadians who were laid off in the last two decades were about 60% more likely to suffer a loss of earnings than to experience a gain. Between 2002 and 2006, about 42% experienced a wage loss during that period compared with 26% who experienced a gain, while about a third maintained the same earnings. The same figures were observed from 1993 to 1997.

The study said the wage losses show that layoffs can have “major negative consequences and affect workers’ standard of living” in the short term, but the effects of losing pension plan coverage are even more significant.

The Statistics Canada report is available here