Four in 10 Canadians Say They’ll Postpone Retirement

September 8, 2011 ( - According to the third annual survey of employees conducted by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), 40% of Canadians said they'll likely have to retire later than they previously planned.

On the West Coast, the number was similar to the national average with 40% of workers expecting they’ll have to postpone their retirement.   

A news release said the primary reason (cited by 40% of Canadians) was “I’m not saving enough money for retirement.” Almost three-quarters of employees (74%) said they have saved less than a quarter of their retirement savings goal. On the West Coast, the number is about the same at 73%.  

Half of employees across the country (45% on the West Coast) reported they are currently saving only 5% or less of their net pay. This is well below the 10% of net pay that financial planning experts generally recommend as a retirement savings rate, the news release noted.   

Almost two-thirds of Canadian workers (63%) felt they would need more than $750,000 in savings for a comfortable retirement.   

Most Canadians do understand what they could be doing to improve their financial situation and meet their retirement goals. Ranked in order of importance, respondents thought they should be spending less (32%), paying off credit card debt (22%), reducing their mortgage (19%) and contributing more to their retirement savings (14%).   

The CPA survey found the majority of Canadian workers continue to live pay cheque to pay cheque, with 57% saying they would be in financial difficulty if their pay was delayed by even a week. Workers on the West Coast are faring slightly better than those in other regions, but still 53% reported that they are living pay cheque to pay cheque.   

Two thousand seventy (2,070) employees responded to the online survey between July 6 and August 2, 2011.