Pension Benefits and Increasing Seniors Demographic

An increasing number of Canadians  are becoming concerned about their CPP benefits in light of the global economic turmoil. Among the greatest concerns are the prospect of a double dip recession, increased fiscal constraints, and a shrinking labour force of younger workers.  If there is a double dip recession governments might impose more fiscal constraints so there is the likelihood that much needed services and benefits for seniors will be reduced or eliminated.  The increase in the seniors demographic combined within a shrinking economy and a predicted decline in the labour force of younger workers will present a challenge to government revenues. This gloomy forecast does not bode well for the sustainability of the pension system. With recent statistics indicating there will be a slowing in the growth of the labour force there are serious concerns that the present pension system will not meet the needs of future retirees. Alarm bells about Canada’s fiscal health have been raised by Kevin Page, the current parliamentary budget officer, who “calculates that the provincial and federal governments’ fiscal structures aren’t sustainable over the long term due to an aging population and current economic trends.” The report presents a troubling financial picture for Canada in the long term if fiscal constraints are not put in place.

That the workforce will have to support a substantial number of older Canadians dependent on CPP benefits is cause for concern since that indicates our current pension system is clearly not sustainable in a fragile economy. A reduced workforce cannot  generate enough economic activity to cope with the pension needs of retirees. In a shrinking economy some seniors will  have to work past retirement age and compete for jobs with younger workers. Hence we have a scenario where many Canadians, whether retired or working, will undoubtedly experience a substantial drop in living standards. As deficits increase government spending will have to be curtailed and everyone, including seniors, will have to pay more taxes. A pension option put forward during the last federal election by Federal Minister Jim Flaherty’s is a ‘pooled pension plan’. This option, however, has not gained much traction.  (Check this link for full details of the ‘pooled pensions plan: Minister Flaherty’s model or theory  is not clearly understood or accepted by Canadians. This ‘pooled pension’ option will be controlled by private enterprise and also the banks.  There is concern that there will not be adequate banking and financial regulations in place to administer this type of pension plan. Concerns are driven by the recent economic turbulence that the absence of adequate regulations wrought on economies around the globe. That devastation is attributed mostly to a lack of proper regulations and oversight in the financial industry. It brings to mind the unfortunate situation of what happened to the pension benefits of many Nortel employees in Canada. There should not be a repeat of a Nortel type fiasco. It is also a necessary part of the equation that those in the labour force must earn a living wage to participate in this option. Will future workers have to rely on erratic and unstable income from their private pension plans and/or RRSPs with this ‘pooled pension plan’ option? At the moment we are witness to storm clouds gathering on the horizon for many European countries and will have to accept that we in Canada are not immune to another economic downturn. Although many governments around the world are struggling to contain their deficits and stabilize their economies there is a strong possibility that most developed countries are about to sink back into a much deeper recession. There will be a  huge wealth gap as our middle class disappears. And if businesses are to survive in the long term proper planning should be in place for an organized transfer of skills and knowledge to younger workers as there will be a massive gap in skills and knowledge as seniors exit the labour force. A fragile economy will undoubtedly impact various services seniors depend on, the most important of which is health care.  And as the volume of our aging population increases we are likely to see the cost of health care services  along with other necessities rise dramatically in an economy that has a shrinking labour force.  Our governments have to recognize that serious economic and social problems will result if this combined challenge of a seniors tsunami and a fragile economy are not addressed in a calm, creative and balanced manner. A long term plan to address this serious challenge is imperative. Refer to this link:

Canada’s Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity”

About Golden Wave Movement Canada

The Golden Wave Movement is a made up of engaged individuals who have serious concerns about the increasing challenges retirees surviving on modest pension incomes face nowadays. While our main purpose is to raise awareness of the financial difficulties faced by this vulnerable group of citizens, we also intend to raise awareness regarding challenges related to their physical, emotional and psychological well-being and how to enjoy their golden years.
This entry was posted in Canada Pension Plan, CPP, Economy, Elders, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Health Care, Pension Reform, Pensions, Pooled pensions, Recession, Retirement, Seniors demographic, Seniors tsunami and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Pension Benefits and Increasing Seniors Demographic

  1. Jim B says:

    Will any politicians do anything about uncontrolled greed and unethical practises of corporations and the financial industry that created this mess? I doubt any of them have the backbone to do anything as they are all in the pockets of the corporations. The middle class is being totally gutted while the corporate elite will enjoy wealth sucked away from ordinary people in the form of BAILOUTS. My modest RSP investments have been savaged and I can only pray that I will live able to have a dignified retirement. I am out of the stock market and have moved over to term investments. Those in the labour force will have to be assured of a living wage in order to pay into a pooled pension plan. Unabated corporate greed is what is destroying working people’s lives and world economies.
    Roseanne Barr is right … behead the lot of those fraudsters.


  2. Lemming says:

    At this time of economic turmoil not much thought given to the politicians pensions — errrr I mean their “gold plated pensions” ! It is absolutely scandalous the generous benefits those parasites take with them when they leave parliament. Many of them become millionaires and end up working with corporations and financial criminals that created this financial mess. How come we don’t hear any word about reforming politicians pensions??? Check this link to see what they rake in :–defeated-mps-turn-to-gold-plated-pensions


  3. Giangonakis says:

    Pensions! What pensions? We are faced with a defining moment when it comes to managing our country’s finances and the impact on workers struggling to make a decent living. Politicians are ignoring the wealth gap created by their corporate friends. We can expect all kinds of social unrest from this carefully engineered system of inequality. Well… there seems to be enough money for law enforment armies/military who will be out there in droves to keep us behaving like good little sheeple/people.


  4. F. Mentore says:

    It is all well and good to suggest that we remain in the workforce until we drop but will there be any jobs for us? Will there even be jobs for the younger people? Experts are predicting that in about 30-40 years there will be huge drop in populations across the globe as the seniors demographics take a dive. Are we prepared for that ! The growing seniors demographic will put enormous pressure on pension benefits at a time when sustainable economic growth is the biggest challenge. The world economy is in a danger zone, unemployment is rising, deficits are rising, and there is talk of increasing taxes! The wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Ordinary working families will have to pay more taxes to support the lifestyle of the fraudulent greedy financial class that has the world in this terrible state. My advice ….get rid of all your debts NOW!


  5. Amit says:

    How on earth can taxes be decreased while eliminating the deficit? Feudalism did not work, Capitalism does not work, socialist does not work, communism does not work ! So what is the solution? Increased immigration to ensure we have a young labour force ! Most western countries are focussing on this to address the increasing seniors population but so is China which is also faced with a rapidly aging population. What a royal mess we are in!


  6. The Canary says:

    We need to speak out against GREED and CORRUPTION that is standard practice in the global financial industry. We are being exploited and fleeced by unethical financial advisors who don’t give a damn about the ordinary guy. The financial system we have is nothing more than the biggest PONZI scheme ever created. I agree we will have to be responsible for our own pension benefits but we need a living wage and some job security and a more regulated financial system to do that.


  7. DavidB says:

    When i came to canada 34 years ago i heard the same predictions none of which have come to fruition. This is just a ruse to try and stem the recent flow of immigrants from NON EUROPEAN countries. I have a 4 letter word for all those who are worried …. RRSPs


  8. Steve says:

    The way the demographics are changing means young workers will have to take care of their own pensions. So why not place more focus on training/educating our young First Nations (fastest growing demographic in Canada) in those high demand occupations being projected? Do we really need immigration? This would be good preparation to relieve the seniors tsunami and void that is forecasted for the labour force. But in order to get this off the ground we need to deal with the embedded discrimination and racism against our First Nations people that afflicts Canada.


  9. MF says:

    Pension benefits should reflect the annual inflation and cost of living, but does it? Health care costs will become the greatest challenge for many seniors, especially those who have disabilities. Seniors will place added burdens on the health care system. This will impact/burden family caregivers such as adult children caring for aging parents.


  10. Paul says:

    The banking industry definiteliy needs more regulation. So many of us have seen our RRSP portfolios evaporate based on crummy advice from those so-called financial advisors. I don’t listen to anything thhey reocmmend and now my RRSPs are fixed term and I can sleep at night. No mutual funds, no stock market indext ever again. No more commissions to those advisors while I lose money but they get commission. Forget about those private investment firms … I lost so much money with them and so have some of my friends. Those firms are run by criminals and they should be prosecuted.Young people will have to take more responsibilty in providing for their pensions and not depend on government or corporations.


  11. GKJ says:

    Managing pension benefits more efficiently should be a top priority. A crucial aspect of this predicted deomgraphic crisis that is clearly not being accorded a fair hearing is the transfer of skills and knowledge. Business leaders need to focus on ways to transfer skills and knowledge of senior executives to new employees who demonstrate potential and commitment to the company. This involveds creative mentoring and coaching opportunities for younger employees in order to narrow the knowledge gap before the older workers exit the workforce. The need for knowledge transfer has been bandied about for decades even well before concerns were raised about changing demographics on the economy. This time around the predicted crisis has to be taken seriously as it will impact the bottom line of many businesses especially in these troubled economic times. The west must not sit on its laurels and need to find ways to remain competitive —globalization has changed the world.


  12. Silverfox says:

    The world is clearly moving into unchartered terriroty with regard to population demographics. Future workers will more than likely be totally responsible for their own pensions. Will they still be required to pay into CPP while being unsure they will ever receive benefits? Also many older workers who should have retired are deciding to continue working to make ends meet will have to settle for lower wages. I recommend your readers check this book that has some troubleing forecasts. It is “Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World’s Population and how it Pits Young Aginst Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation” by Ted C. Fishman. Refer to this Amazon link for reviews:


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