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Inflation: Pension security a growing concern, survey finds

More Canadians are struggling to save for retirement security as inflation continues to soar and markets decline, according to a new survey.

The survey, commissioned by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and Abacus Data, was conducted April 21-27 among 1,716 Canadian adults and released Thursday. It revealed that 55% of respondents worried about having enough money to survive retirement.

Concerns are particularly strong among Canadians under 35, according to the poll, as they are less likely to own a home or have more than $5,000 in savings. Among non-homeowners aged 18-34, 75% say they worry about their ability to buy a home due to high interest rates, while homeowners in the same age group worry about being able to afford mortgage payments.

The annual inflation rate hit 7.7% in June, pushed up by housing, gas and grocery prices, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.

“The overall outlook for retirement security in Canada is darkening,” David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, said in a press release.

“Seventy-five per cent of all Canadians agree that a retirement crisis is emerging in Canada and 72 per cent believe that saving for retirement is too expensive – both up seven points from last year. And, if current trends continue, it will be more difficult for the younger generations.

The outlook is not necessarily better for those who are ready to retire.

Another recent survey by Angus Reid found that 62% of people aged 55 or older have delayed retirement because they don’t have enough savings or investments, and 63% of older Canadians fear never be able to retire.

All generations agree that better pensions are needed to reduce financial stress and ensure a stronger pension system, the survey finds.

Of those polled in the HOOP study, 82% agreed that “all workers should have access to a pension that guarantees a percentage of their working income in retirement”, and 66% would ready to accept a lower salary for a better pension. .

“HOOPP’s previous research with employers, as well as our own plan members, has confirmed that good workplace retirement savings plans reduce financial stress and improve peace of mind for workers of all ages” said Steven McCormick, HOOPP’s Senior Vice President, Plan Operations, in a press release.

“And that, in turn, improves productivity for employers.”

Home ownership is seen as integral to retirement stability, with 45% of Canadians planning to rely on the sale of a home for their retirement plans. But, with average home prices rising at a record pace, 58% of respondents are worried about their ability to buy a home when they retire.

Although saving for retirement was rated a high priority by 54% of respondents, only 32% said they still had something to save.

“Concerns about retirement and savings have been high every year we’ve done the Canadian Retirement Survey, and now they’re exacerbated by rising interest rates and inflation,” McCormick said.

“Well over half of Canadians expect these factors to cause financial hardship and force them to retire later. At the same time, financing retirement by selling a home is becoming a less viable strategy for many people. This raises the question of whether Canada’s younger generations are headed for a perfect retirement security storm.

With files from The Canadian Press and Brooklyn Neustaeter from