Cost of living crunch impacting retirement savings

A new poll found that people are more concerned about paying for basic necessities

A new poll commissioned by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) found that 81 percent of people are now more concerned about paying for basic necessities like groceries, rent and their mortgage, than saving for retirement. The poll also found 44 percent said the high cost of living is hindering them from starting to save for retirement.

Although individuals and families are living in a difficult economic environment, FSRA is urging consumers to prepare for the future and learn more about their retirement savings options.

“Retirement can seem like a lifetime away, especially when you are dealing with higher grocery bills and rising living expenses,” said FSRA’s Acting Pensions Executive Vice President, Andrew Fung. “During these challenging times it can be easy to put retirement on the back burner. February 15th will be our second annual Pension Awareness Day and we’re encouraging people to take a moment and think about the quality of life they want after they stop working. Saving is the key and setting aside even a little now can leave you better off in the future.”

The FSRA poll also found that:

  • 20 percent of people think they will never be able to retire
  • only 17 percent believe their quality of life will be better when they retire – 39 percent will be the same and 43 percent worse off
  • 56 percent do not know how much money they will need to save to retire comfortably
  • 27 percent have not developed a plan to ensure they have enough money for retirement
  • 88 percent agree that more should be done to encourage people to save for retirement
  • 91 percent of people agree that more should be done to educate people about pensions
  • 60 percent believe the right age to start thinking of retirement and setting money aside is in your 20’s
  • 61 percent know more about their favorite TV show than the benefits of their pension plan

“Retirement is one of the biggest expenses in a person’s life and the more time you have to prepare, the better off you will be,” said Fung. “If your employer offers a pension plan, learn about the benefits you’re entitled to. If you don’t have access to a workplace pension, ask about other retirement savings options.. Starting to save early is the best way to help you reach your financial goals and secure a more promising future.”

The online poll was conducted by Forum Research between December 7 – 14, 2023 with a sample size of 1,000 Ontario residents 18 years or older.

Learn more about Pension Awareness Day.

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FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including pension beneficiaries, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for everyone.

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For media inquiries:

Russ Courtney
Sr. Manager of Media Relations
Financial Services Regulatory Authority
C: 437-225-8551
Email: [email protected]