2014 Sun Life Canadian Unretirement™ Index released

March 17, 2014

On February 19, we released our sixth annual Sun Life Canadian Unretirement™ Index, which has tracked how Canadians' attitudes and expectations about retirement have evolved since the financial crisis began in 2008.

We are pleased to share some of the highlights of the survey:

How Canadians view their retirement
Since the first Canadian Unretirement™ Index survey in 2008, there has been a significant shift in the way Canadians plan and think about their future. As Canadians continue to recover from the 2008 financial crisis; increasing life expectancies, low-interest rates and rising residential real estate prices across much of the country are just a few factors impacting how Canadians plan for retirement.

  • Fewer Canadians expect to retire at 66 (51% in 2008 vs. 28% in 2013), and an increasing number say it's because they need to cover basic living expenses.
  • The number of Canadians who say they will be working at age 66 because they need to has grown from 53% in 2008 to 65% in 2013.
  • Canadians on average expect approximately 23 per cent of their retirement income to come from employer plans. They expect the rest to come from a mix of government plans (30%), personal savings (27%), home equity (10%), inheritance (5%) and other sources (6%).

Plan members are ahead of the game
For the sixth year in a row, the survey found that participating in a workplace savings plan gave plan members an emotional as well as financial edge over non-members. The 2013 survey revealed that:

  • 49% of Canadians with a workplace savings plan say they are satisfied with their retirement savings vs. 24% of non-members
  • 35% of Canadians with a workplace savings plan say they expect to be retired at 66 vs. 18% of non-members
  • 40% of Canadians with a workplace savings plan who say they will be working past 65 say it's because they want to vs. 29% of non-members
  • Canadians with a workplace plan have a higher level of expected savings for their retirement than non-members ($491,000 vs. $313,000 on average)

While plan members were overall more confident about planning for their future and their retirement outlook, they are still underestimating how much they'll need in retirement. Sun Life Financial's Retirement planner on mysunlife.ca can help plan members determine how much income they'll need to win in retirement.

Please contact your Sun Life Financial Group Retirement Services representative.