Canadian Participants Drive Their Investments

January 17, 2002 ( - Canadian defined contribution plan participants are firmly in control of their employer-sponsored retirement savings, a Watson Wyatt study finds.

The consulting company’s COMPARISON Canada report shows that more than two-thirds of Canadian companies with defined contribution plans let employees make investment choices.

According to the study, 77% of Canadian plan sponsors also permit investment changes at any time.

Watson Wyatt also found an erosion in employer-sponsored retiree health programs. Only 31% of respondents give retired workers health insurance  – down from over 50% in a 1996 study.

The study also found that:

  • some 12% of the organizations have no pensions,
  • almost 28% have defined benefit plans only,
  • a little over 40% have defined contribution plans only, and
  • only 13% have combined plans

Further, almost half of the participants in the financial sector offer retiree health benefits, compared to less than 20% of high-tech companies.

Of the 31% of those offering retiree health coverage, 38% give retirees and active workers the same health benefit.