Canada’s federal and provincial finance ministers, including British Columbia’s Kevin Falcon, will meet in Victoria next week. They must know that Canada is approaching a retirement income train wreck and that they have to do something about it.
Our pension income system is not up to the challenge of an aging society, or the workplace realities of young workers.
British Columbia’s momentous demographic transition is in full swing and workers are poorly positioned for a retirement that would offer them financial security. The population aged 65 and over will double in the next 25 years, and by that time the ratio of working-age British Columbians to seniors will have fallen from a little less than five to one today to just 2.5 to one.
Cities such as Abbots-ford-Mission, Vancouver and Victoria are aging noticeably, but the greying trend is even more evident in rural areas.
Just how well-prepared is the province for this seismic shift? Not so well, as it turns out. Only 28.5 per cent of workers in British Columbia were covered by a workplace pension plan in 2010.