The Canadian National Retirement Risk Index: Employing Statistics Canada’s LifePaths to Measure the Financial Security of Future Canadian Seniors
by Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Robert L. Brown
This study was carried out with the aid of a grant from the Actuarial Foundation of Canada and co-sponsored by Sun Life Financial. The article (which will be posted to this website when available) measures a Canadian National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI). Originally developed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the NRRI is a forward-looking measure that evaluates the proportion of working-aged individuals who are at risk of not maintaining their standard of living in retirement. While the Canadian retirement income system has been very effective in reducing elderly poverty, this study suggests that it has been much less successful in maintaining the lifestyle of Canadians after retirement. The methodology underlying the Canadian NRRI is uniquely sophisticated and comprehensive on account of the employment of Statistics Canada’s LifePaths - a state of the art stochastic micro-simulation model of the Canadian population.
Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Doug Andrews, and Robert L.Brown received a grant from The Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC) to undertake research concerning the basic living expenses required by Canadian seniors living in different circumstances in terms of age, gender, city of residence, household size, homeowner or renter, means of transportation and health status. The paper develops required expenses for food, shelter, health care, transportation and miscellaneous. The research identifies the typical expenses of seniors in each of these categories. Using 2001 as the base year, the research follows the US Elder Standard to build an elderly threshold for Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The research is unique because it is the first Canadian study of absolute basic living expenses tailored to seniors, rather than simply to adults in general. This information is important to seniors, prospective retirees, financial planners, policy makers and actuaries in assessing the minimum level of income required in retirement and the adequacy of savings and income security programs.
Mary Hardy, University of Waterloo, received a grant from The Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC) along with The Actuarial Education and Research Fund (AERF) of The Actuarial Foundation (TAF) to explore various aspects of bootstrap methods to provide practical solutions to important actuarial problems.