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January 25, 2011
Montreal, January 25, 2011. With the start of peak financial planning season upon us, the AXA Retirement Scope has revealed that Canadians are among the world leaders when it comes to retirement.
The AXA Retirement Scope provides local and international perspectives on retirement planning. It demonstrates that 97% of Canadian workers recognize the necessity of planning financially for retirement. The lowest awareness of the need for financial preparation for retirement is seen in China (80%) and southern European countries (82%).
Canadians are overall the most optimistic about retirement. They eagerly look forward to it and view it as a time to take care of themselves and their loved ones while getting more involved in community projects. A larger share of Canadian workers (43%) are concerned about losing the social recognition that comes with practicing a profession, followed closely by workers in the United Kingdom (42%). A smaller proportion of our workers (38%) fear the onset of old age, dependence and health problems, while these concerns prevail most strongly in Japan and Southeast Asia (71% and 73%).
“Adequately preparing for retirement and using the services of a financial security advisor are possibly the best ways to approach retirement optimistically and with peace of mind,” says Robert Landry, Executive Vice-President, Life Insurance and Financial Services, AXA Assurances. “The AXA Retirement Scope also reveals that, among the countries in this study, not only do Canadians start to prepare earlier, but that Canada has the largest proportion of workers who actively prepare for their retirement. In Canada, people are generally more receptive to hearing about financial planning with regards to retirement.”
Canada is one of the countries where people retire and expect to retire the youngest, with the ideal retirement age being around 57. However, just about everywhere in the world, the gap between this ideal age and the age when people think they will actually retire is on the rise. This age gap is around five years in Canada and other Western countries. In Asia, the gap is much smaller, and the Chinese win the prize for being the youngest retirees, with an actual retirement age of around 53.
Canada is one of the countries most receptive to the idea of increasing the legal retirement age. “This issue led to major protests in France last year. In Canada, nothing is seriously in the works for the time being,” says Mr. Landry. “Canadians, along with Americans, are among the most cognizant people in the world about using personal savings to guarantee retirement income.”
Of those studied, Canadian workers are among the most confident about their retirement income, with a majority (61%) qualifying it as satisfactory or highly satisfactory. In China, the confidence index climbs to a strong 79%, while among Japanese workers, shaken by the recent collapse of the pension data management system, the confidence index plunges to 11%.
Present throughout Canada, AXA offers a broad range of property/casualty and life and health insurance products to its clients through its 2,300 employees and some 4,000 brokers and advisors. In 2009, AXA had revenues of C$2.05 billion and net earnings of C$137.6 million. AXA in Canada is a member of the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection, whose business is concentrated in Western Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Worldwide, 96 million clients put their trust in AXA.
The AXA Retirement Scope is an international study whose objectives are to explore and understand people’s attitudes toward retirement and to compare the image of retirement with the reality.
The survey included over 20,000 working and retired people from 26 countries in April 2010 and was conducted by a consortium of polling firms headed by GFK Group and represented in Canada by CROP.
Countries studied: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the United States, the United Kingdom.
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The AXA Group is present in 61 countries
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2.15 billion direct premiums issued in Canada