Pension Plans not a Top Factor for Canadians in Job Search

February 1, 2012 ( - Canadians are not placing a high priority on employer pension plans when evaluating job opportunities, according to a report from the BMO Retirement Institute. 

The report found only 7% of respondents considered a good retirement pension to be the most important factor when evaluating a new job, compared to salary (47%) and flexible work arrangements (22%).

Only 9% of respondents stated it was very likely they would leave their current position for another one if the new employer offered a better workplace pension/savings plan. More than half (51%) could not identify the must-have features they would include if given the opportunity to design their own workplace pension plan.

“Perfecting the Workplace Pension: The Quest Continues,” explores the shift in Canada from the traditional defined benefit model to the defined contribution model. As a result of this change, the responsibility for properly managing one’s pension now lies primarily with the employee rather than the employer. The report also found that half of Canadian workers have already had five or more employers since they started working; 20% expect to work for 10 or more employers over their careers.

“The employer pension used to be a lot simpler because, in the past, Canadians would generally stay with one employer throughout their working career,” said Tina Di Vito, head, BMO Retirement Institute. “Now, because employees switch jobs so often, many have to deal with multiple pension plans during their career. Additionally, with the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, the responsibility for properly managing a workplace pension now lies with the employee rather than the employer.”

To view a copy of the full report, visit