CANADA - Over 60% of chief financial officers have claimed the pension crisis in Canada is widespread and likely to persist over the next three years, according to a survey compiled by Watson Wyatt Worldwide and The Conference Board of Canada (CBC).
The preliminary findings of the third annual Watson Wyatt - CBC survey on pension plan risk are based on responses from 187 organisations regarding the condition of the pension system in the North American country.
“CFOs are increasingly coming to the realisation that the pension deficits of recent years have not yet turned around and they are less optimistic that plans will rebound any time soon,” said Gilles Rheaume (pictured), vice president of policy, business and society for the CBC.
Issues such as potential impending labour shortages and an ageing workforce are at the crux of such concerns and are affecting the way companies are treating their pensions.
“Canadian organisations continue to divert funds from other business activities into stabilising their pension plans, increasing the urgency of managing pension risk for most CFOs,” added Ian Markham, director of pension innovation, Watson Wyatt Canada.
In addition the survey has revealed that 41% of respondents with DB plans said they have made or intend to make benefit changes including reducing early and normal retirement benefits to members.
Another key finding showed only 15% of respondents believed the deepening pension crisis was isolated to only relatively few organisations. This is compared to 25% last year.
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