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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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Canadians nearing retirement don't know their pensions

One third say CPP will be their primary source of retirement income, but seven-in-ten don't know the maximum amount

WINNIPEG, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadians nearing retirement (aged 55-64) are confident they have enough money to live the retirement lifestyle they desire but many do not know how much retirement income they will need nor how much their company and/or government pensions will provide.

Sixty-nine per cent of Canadians approaching retirement age were unaware of what the maximum monthly payout from government is for Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), yet more than eight-in-ten of this age group say they plan to use this as a source of retirement income, and more than one third anticipate this will be their primary source, according to new research from Investors Group.

A recent survey from Investors Group examining Canadians' knowledge of their pension plans and their retirement income revealed that while Canadians appear optimistic about their retirement lifestyle, few have a firm handle on what their cost of living will be and what their pensions will offer.

Sources of retirement income

Sixty per cent of Canadians say they plan to use an employer pension as a source of income and 37 per cent say this will be their primary source.

However, of those who say they have workplace pensions and plan to rely on it as their primary source of income, more than half (55 per cent) did not know the monthly benefit they can expect.

"Planning for retirement at an early age will help Canadians to really understand what will be required to maintain your desired lifestyle and where savings and investments are needed to fill the pension gaps," said Dave Ablett, Director, Tax and Estate Planning, at Investors Group.

Cost of living and what to expect

Seven-in-10 say that they will have enough to pay the cost of living in retirement, yet when asked what they anticipate their monthly cost of living to be, 42 per cent of unretired Canadians did not know. The research revealed that as Canadians approach the age of retirement, a significant number are still not aware of what it will take to support their lifestyle with 39 per cent of Canadians aged 55-64 were still unclear on what to expect.

"As you near the age of retirement, it is even more important to understand what your cost of living will be and to consider how that amount may fluctuate throughout your retirement years," said Investors Group's Ablett. "A financial advisor can help identify and plan for retirement needs to avoid an inadequate retirement income."

Retirement Confidence

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of unretired Canadians are confident they will be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. This number jumps to 91 per cent among Canadians working with a financial advisor.

While 39 per cent of Canadians say that confidence in their own money management has gone up over the last 10 years, 58 per cent say their confidence in younger generations' ability to save adequately for retirement has gone down.

In addition, (66 per cent) of Canadians are less confident in governments' ability to continue to provide an acceptable level of pension and retirement benefits.

"While the survey indicates that Canadians are approaching retirement with confidence, it also identifies the need for Canadians to gain a better understanding of what their ideal financial future looks like so they can build a plan to get there," said Dave Ablett of Investors Group.

About the Survey Methodology

Data was collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) via the Harris/Decima teleVox omnibus. Overall, 1,010 completes were collected nationally between January 23 and January 27, 2014. The sample consists of 80% landline and 20% cell phone respondents, with quotas by gender (50/50 split) and by region. The data is weighted in tabulation to replicate actual population distribution by age and gender within region according to the 2011 Census data. This survey is considered accurate to a margin of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error for subgroups is higher.

About Investors Group

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of over 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with over $132 billion in total assets under management as of January 31, 2014.

SOURCE Investors Group Inc.

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