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March 28, 2019

Over the period from 1999 to 2016, the wealth (net worth and total assets) of Canadians approaching retirement who were in the middle of the wealth distribution grew quite strongly in constant dollars, according to a new working paper from the C.D. Howe Institute.

In “The Evolving Wealth of Canadians Approaching Retirement,” author Bob Baldwin points out the growth in wealth was notably stronger than income growth over the same period, driven in part by the increasing value of primary residences. But other forms of wealth also grew strongly, including retirement wealth.

The extent to which the increase in wealth will translate directly into increased retirement incomes, however, depends on the cost of a dollar of retirement income, and that increased over the period. The increase in cost would offset much but not all of the increase in wealth.

Bob Baldwin

Bob Baldwin is an Ottawa based consultant who has worked on pension issues for more than 30 years. He worked for the Canadian Labour Congress for all but three years from 1976 to 2005 – the last 10 as the Director of Social and Economic Policy.