Pension coverage declined 2% over last decade | National Union of Public and General Employees

Pension coverage declined 2% over last decade

In 2010, men accounted for 50.1% of total pension plan membership, while the percentage of women rose to 49.9%, a record level. In the early 1970s, men accounted for almost 75% of total membership in pension plans.

Ottawa (5 June 2012) – The percentage of the Canadian paid labour force covered by a registered pension plan (RPP) has decline by 2% over the past decade, from 40.8% to 38.8% according to data released by Statistics Canada last week. The data covers the period between 2000 and 2010.

Although the number of workers covered by a RPP in Canada amounted to 6,065,750 in 2010, an increase of 42,000 from 2009, the pension coverage rate – that is, the proportion of all employees covered by an RPP – has continued its downward trend over the past two decades. The reason for this is that Canada's labour force has grown at a faster rate than than the overall number of workers covered by a pension plan.

Membership increased in public sector plans, but declined in private sector plans. Membership in public sector pension plans rose 0.5% over the last decade, while the percentage of members in private sector plans declined 3.8% from 2000 to 2010.

As a result, the public sector accounted for 52% of total membership in RPPs in 2010, up from 46% a decade earlier. In the early 1980s, membership in the private sector represented almost 60% of total members but in 2010 accounted for only 48%. In 2010, only one in four private sector workers belonged to a RPP.

Participaton of women continues upward trend

The participation of women in RPPs continued its long-term upward over the past decade. Their membership increased to 3,028,730 in 2010, breaking the three-million mark for the first time. Since 2000, the percentage of women workers covered by a pension plan has increased from 39.5% in 2000 to 40.3% in 2010. Among men, it has declined from 41.9% in 2000 to 37.4% in 2010.
In 2010, men accounted for 50.1% of total membership, while the percentage of women rose to 49.9%, a record level. In the early 1970s, men accounted for almost 75% of total membership in RPPs.

Defined benefit plans remain the most important plan type

In 2010, more than 4,484,000 employees were in a defined benefit pension plan, down 5.6% from 2010. They accounted for 74% of employees with an RPP, compared with more than 84% a decade earlier.

Membership in defined contribution plans, the other most frequent type, increased 0.4% over the past decade and now account for 16% of all RPP membership.

More information:

All Together Now – Champions 4 Pensions
Pension Coverage in Canada by Jurisdiction (2000 and 2010)

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE