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Defined Benefit Pension Plans Recovering, Amidst COVID-19 Retirement Impact

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Canadian defined benefit pension plans experienced a pronounced upsurge in the second quarter, posting a median return of 9.6 per cent, according to the RBC Investor & Treasury Services All Plan Universe. This reverses the steep Q1 losses and raises the median plan’s return to 1.4 per cent on a year-to-date basis. Looks like we’re seeing a slow turnaround from the financial hit we saw with COVID-19. RBC also reports that Canadian bonds saw a median return up 8.7%, Canadian equities up 13%, and global equities up 13.9%.

This good news comes off the heels of a new report released by investment dealer Edward Jones in partnership with research company Age Wave, which showed that Canadians are rethinking their retirement timing because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has thrown many Canadians far off course of their retirement preparations. The study found that a whopping two million Canadians have stopped making regular contributions to their retirement savings.

8% of respondents say they are thinking of retiring early, one-third (33%) believe they will have to retire later, largely because of financial concerns, and the remainder say they have not been impacted, according to the study.

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