To save for retirement in Manitoba, it is important to get familiar with different sources of income such as investments and personal savings, Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan, and employer-sponsored pension plans.
Investments and Personal Savings
Contributing to a tax-free savings account or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan is one option. The main advantage of getting a RRSP is that taxes are due only after money is withdrawn. Thus holders make contributions when they are employed and in a higher tax bracket, and they are allowed to withdraw funds when they retire. Some employers also opt for group RRSPs for their employees, with conditions regarding the withdrawal of contributions, amounts to contribute, eligible employees, etc. Both group and individual RRSPs are not subject to The Pension Benefits Act of Manitoba.
Stocks, bonds, and other investments can also help increase retirement income. Safe investment options to look into include annuities, low volatility funds, money market funds, guaranteed investment certificates, and high-interest savings accounts. Other options are more on the risky side, including initial public offerings, futures, foreign emerging markets, and venture capital.
Old Age Security
Manitoba residents are entitled to receive a monthly benefit whether they have worked or not. All residents and citizens who have resided in Canada for 10 years or longer receive an Old Age Security pension.
Canada Pension Plan
Everyone who made contributions prior to retirement is entitled to receive a taxable benefit. The monthly benefit is based on age, amounts contributed, and average earnings. Persons retiring at the age of 65 receive $1,154.58. The longer one worked, the larger the amount and vice versa.
These are also known as registered, workplace, and employer pension plans and pension funds. Employer contributions are used to sponsor the plan partially or fully. There are multiple provisions that define the maximum benefit, investment limitations, death benefits, membership and eligibility, form of pension, and others.
Manitoba introduced amendments to the Pension Benefits Act in 2010 to ensure more protection for employees. Employers and members are now allowed to choose how surplus is distributed. Members can also opt for flexible benefits such as cost-of-living adjustments. In addition prior to retirement, members are allowed to make contributions while working fewer hours.
All employees participate in registered plans in Manitoba provided that such are offered. About 46 percent of the workforce belongs to a plan compared to 39 percent for Canada. This makes it the province with the second-highest coverage.
Factors to Consider
When saving for retirement, the main factor to consider is expenses that will increase, decrease, and remain the same. Expenses that normally go down include RRSP contributions, personal taxes, work-related expenses, mortgage payments, and tuition. Retirees, however, pay more for elder care, medications, dental care, and hobbies and leisure activities. Rent, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and groceries stay about the same.
In general, what to save depends on the extent to which expenses and income change post-retirement. According to experts, Canadians should ideally aim at 70 or 80 percent of their monthly earnings. It also pays to compare monthly costs while working and post-retirement. These can include items such as debt and credit card payments, car and home insurance, health and life insurance, public transportation, and medical and dental care. You may also compare leisure expenses such as hobbies, magazine subscriptions, and travel. Finally, if you have dependents, whether parents or children, look at expenses such as financial help, university tuition, and room and board.