Pension Replacement Levels

December 16, 2010
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What are fair income replacement levels?
Why do we pay 70% replacement pensions for public sector employees? Many will retire with a higher standard of living  and with more disposable income than they had while working. 
Other sources of personal income are not taken into account. What is a fair replacement level?  
Public sector pensions are designed to provide 70% of final year’s income. By contrast the CPP is designed to provide 25% replacement income. 
Most Canadian retirees see substantial drops in the cost of living at retirement. The most significant factor is that in Canada about 85% of Canadian over age 65 have no mortgage. On the other hand for most working Canadians about 28% of salary goes into paying a home mortgage. 
At retirement there are reductions in payroll taxes. For example, the CPP pension or EI contributions are no longer required. The CPP is a payroll tax of 4.95%. Also the pensions contributions that public sector employees make, around 10% of income are no longer required.
Many public sector employees will retire with more disposable income and a better lifestyle than they had when they were working.  Is it fair to pay public sector employees a taxpayer funded pension that provide a replacement income of 70? 
I recently covered this issue more fully in How Much is Enough?
Benefits Canada – Reforms needed for increased retirement savings 

 Bill Tufts 
Fair Pensions For All

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