ghariton wrote:From the 2011 National Household Survey
Amongst those aged 65 years and over, private retirement pension income represented 29.9% of total income in 2010.
Private pensions were received by 59.2% of seniors and the median amount was $11,700.
There were relatively large numbers of people in the 55 to 59 (10.9%) and 60 to 64 (27.1%) age groups with private
retirement income as well. The median amounts of retirement income in these two age groups were very similar, at
about $25,500, significantly higher than that for the 65 years and over age group. Private retirement income
represented 6.2% of total income for those between 55 and 59, and 17.3% for those between 60 and 64.
So private pensions are not that big a component of retirement income now, and probably never were. Perhaps the disappearance of DB pension plans is not as harmful as the headlines tell us.
This is in addition to Izzy's valid point about increasing longevity risk.
What does the report say about the socio-economic dispersion of private retirement income? Every other year I edit a consulting firm's report on Canadian wealth and that report, using a variety of data sources, has consistently said that wealth is concentrated in the ranks of the upper middle-class and above (not their terminology). Historically, DB pensions
have been of greatest value to lower level workers who typically lack the education and means to invest on their own.
Also, I question your statement that private pensions "are not big a component." ISTM that 29.9% of total income is a pretty big chunk of change. Especially when that chunk is immunized against both market and longevity risk and, for some/many, inflation-indexed to some extent.