Think about the kind of retirement you want this Pension Awareness Day

Five simple steps to make sure the cost-of-living crunch doesn’t derail your future plans

Ontario’s financial services regulator is marking the province’s 2nd annual Pension Awareness Day by urging all workers in the province to take the time to start planning for life after they stop working.

A recent poll commissioned by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), found that cost of living concerns are impacting retirement planning for many Ontarians:

  • 81 percent of people are more concerned about paying for basic necessities like groceries than saving for retirement
  • 44 percent said the high cost of living is hindering them from starting to save for retirement
  • 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

“We don’t want people to fall behind,” said FSRA’s Acting EVP, Pensions, Andrew Fung. “Today, on Pension Awareness Day, we hope everyone can take some time to reflect on the life they want in retirement. It’s not about sacrificing today; it’s about ensuring that retirement is part of the discussion when you and your family make financial and investment decisions.”

To help you get started, FSRA has set out a simple five-step Pension Awareness Day plan for an easy savings strategy:

  1. Ask if your workplace offers a pension plan
    • If you are already a plan member, ensure you know what benefits you are entitled to. A good place to start is by reviewing your annual pension statement.
  2. Find out if your workplace offers a retirement savings plan
    • If you don’t have access to a workplace pension, there may be other options.
  3. Learn about employer matching
    • If your employer will match your pension contributions, consider making maximum payments to take full advantage of the money you save for retirement.
  4. Decide what you can comfortably save
    • It doesn’t need to be a lot! Whether it’s $5 or $50 or $500 a month, the more you can save and invest today, the better off you will be at retirement.
  5. Consider making a pension plan part of your job search criteria
    • You already consider salary, benefits, and vacation when deciding where to work. Add the pension plan to your pros and cons list too!

“Planning for your future is critically important. Retirement is one of the biggest expenses you will have in your lifetime,” said Fung. “Our research found that 61 percent of people know more about their favourite TV show than the benefits of their pension plan. If you have time to keep up with your favourite TV show, we think you can spend a few minutes considering life after work – even if it’s only once a year on Pension Awareness Day.”

Being organized could change your life.

A retiree recently turned to FSRA for help after his pension claim was denied. In this extremely rare and unique situation, by saving the right documents, he secured a lump sum payment and monthly benefits. The key takeaway is to stay organized and by doing so, was worth tens of thousands of dollars for this retiree. Although his former employer had no records, with documented proof and FSRA’s help, he was able to secure the pension benefits he’d earned.

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]