Straight talk on retirement and pensions
September 18, 2017
Breathe easy about living longer
This is the second post for BOOM! — a new blog addressing current issues relating to pensions and retirement. Let’s take a closer look at a topic that’s on the minds of many retirees: increasing life expectancy and its implication for their retirement savings.
I was struck by a recent white paper released by the World Economic Forum entitled “We’ll Live to 100 – How Can We Afford It?” It confirms what we’ve been hearing from Statistics Canada for years: Canadian life expectancy has risen significantly in the last sixty years. (And as an aside, British Columbians enjoy among the highest life expectancies in the nation.)
According to the white paper, the life expectancy of 50 per cent of the babies born in Canada in 2007 is now 104 years. While viewed as good news by most, longevity can create anxiety among retirees because they fear outliving their retirement savings.
As a member of BC’s Public Service Pension Plan, you can breathe easy about living longer. Your defined benefit plan provides you with a pension based on a formula that includes your years of pensionable service and average salary. When you retire, you and (where applicable) your spouse will enjoy a monthly pension for life – regardless of how long you live.
Inflation adjustments, while not guaranteed, are added to your monthly pension, thereby preserving buying power throughout retirement. Not only will your pension continue for your lifetime, those adjustments can help you keep pace with increases in the cost of living, a major concern for those on fixed income.
So go ahead, live to 100 (or even more) and have confidence that you will not outlive your Public Service pension.
Learn the latest news: watch for the Report to Members 2017
Your trustees have just put the finishing touches on the 2017 Report to Members. You will have received your copy, along with your Member’s Benefit Statement, in early September. The report is full of answers to top member questions about retirement, and information about your plan’s evolving demographics and the value of long-term planning. It also includes the latest financial highlights. Significant effort goes into producing the report, so I encourage you to take the time to read it and learn more about one of the most important elements of your retirement plan.
Share your feedback
What do you think of the new plan website? There’s a short four-question survey available on the home page where you can provide feedback and suggestions to help us improve your pension experience online. Please take a minute or two to complete it.
Claude Marchessault is the Executive Director of the Public Service Pension Plan of British Columbia