Reforming the Canadian Retirement System: Investing Social Security Assets in Equities

Steven A. Sass

GIB#5

Introduction

Canada, like the United States, has developed a retirement income system that relies on both public and employer-sponsored plans to provide a reasonable level of old-age income. Canada’s public programs largely focus on assuring a basic old-age income and provide quite modest benefits to higher-income workers. Canada’s employer plans provide significant topups for middle- and upper-income workers. Powerful demographic and economic forces, however, have emerged over the past quarter century that have challenged the long-term solvency of both public and employer plans. Canada, in response, has had to reform both public and private retirement income programs…