More Canadians now expect to work full-time, rather than being retired, when they reach age 66, according to a new survey from Sun Life Financial.
The poll also found that working Canadians are far more worried than current retirees about running out of money in their golden years.
More than one-third of working Canadians believe there is a serious risk that they will outlive their savings. Only one in seven retirees shares the same concern, Sun Life said in a release issued on Wednesday.
“People who are retired today are living a different retirement experience than people in the workforce today are expecting,” Kevin Dougherty, president of Sun Life Canada, said in an interview.
“The challenge of living 20 or 30 or even 40 years in retirement is really on people’s minds.”
Nearly one-third, or 32 per cent, of Canadians surveyed said they expect to work full-time at 66. That compares to 27 per cent who plan to leave the workforce by that age.
Another 27 per cent say they will work part-time, while 12 per cent aren’t sure.
In 2008, just 16 per cent thought they would work full time at age 66, the Sun Life survey found. Back then, 51 per cent of those surveyed expected to be retired.
The number of people who expect to be retired rose to 55 per cent in 2009 — then fell to 28 per cent in the 2010 survey, as the effects of the Great Recession took hold.
“Prior to the downturn, I think people were feeling extremely confident,” Dougherty said. “With the (financial) crisis they realized it’s a big challenge to plan and invest and get to this goal and there’s potentially some stormy weather along the way.”
About 14 per cent of retirees say they are worried about outliving their savings. More than one-third of working Canadians, 36 per cent, share that concern.
When asked why they expect to work at age 66, 21 per cent of those surveyed this year said it would be to earn enough money to pay basic living expenses, while 18 per cent do not believe that government pensions will not provide enough. Another 16 per cent said they want to “earn enough money to live well.”
On average, Canadians say they expect to stop working and be fully retired at age 64, the survey found. That’s down from age 69 in the 2011 survey.
“So while large numbers of Canadians anticipate working past 65 — either by choice or necessity — that trend is offset somewhat by a significant number who expect an early retirement,” Sun Life said.
Forty-four per cent of Canadians also said they are satisfied with their retirement savings. That’s up from 33 per cent in 2012.
Ipsos Reid conducted the survey in December on behalf of Sun Life Financial. Online interviews were conducted with a sample of 3,000 working Canadians ages 30 to 65. Another 400 retired Canadians were also surveyed.
The survey also found that more than two-thirds of retirees reported benefiting from a workplace pension plan. One-quarter said they had no plan.
By contrast, 55 per cent of working Canadians today report having a workplace pension plan. One-third of respondents said they do not have a plan.