Pension Plans in Canada

Detailed information for January 1, 2016

Status:

Active

Frequency:

Annual

Record number:

2609

The purpose of the survey is to provide information on the terms and conditions of Registered Pension Plans (RPPs), membership in them and contributions made by and on behalf of the members.

Data release - July 21, 2017

Description

The Pension Plans in Canada Survey is an annual census of all registered pension plans (RPPs) in Canada. It provides information on the terms and conditions of RPPs, membership in them and contributions made by and on behalf of the members.

Registered pension plans are plans established by either employers or unions to provide retirement income to employees. These plans are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency for tax purposes and, in most cases, also with the federal or a provincial pension regulatory authority.

The primary users of the Pension Plans in Canada Survey are the federal and provincial government pension authorities. Other main users include the National Economic Accounts Division (Statistics Canada), the federal government (Employment and Social Development Canada and Finance Canada), private consultant firms, insurance companies and academics. The data from Pension Plans in Canada Survey is also used to generate the estimate of the value of benefits accrued in registered pension plans for the Survey of Financial Security (record number 2620).

Reference period: January 1st

Collection period: October to January

Subjects

  • Income, pensions, spending and wealth
  • Labour
  • Non-wage benefits
  • Pension plans and funds and other retirement income programs

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is all Registered Pension Plans in Canada. The survey frame is drawn from information on plans registered with federal and provincial government pension authorities and, for plans not subject to their legislation, from the Canada Revenue Agency. Data are reported to Statistics Canada only when the pension authorities have registered the plan; some existing plans may not have completed this registration process and therefore are not included in Statistics Canada database.

Instrument design

The questionnaire design and variables included in the Pension Plans in Canada survey are based upon the data reporting requirements of the Canadian Revenue Agency and the federal and provincial government pension authorities.

Sampling

This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2016-10-03 to 2017-01-16

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Data on the Pension Plans in Canada Survey for 1960 and 1965 were based on direct surveys conducted by Statistics Canada. Since 1970, administrative data have gradually replaced the survey as the data source. Therefore, the program is now derived largely from data provided by ten pension supervisory authorities (nine provincials and one federal). The jurisdictions provide the information electronically.

For plans having members employed in Prince Edward Island but are not registered with one of the pension authorities, the information is collected directly from the respondent once every two years. The information for Public sector plans not registered with a pension authority is collected from annual reports or directly from the respondent. Data for small plans (individual or connected pension plans) that are not registered with a pension authority are obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Data are provided by ten pension supervisory authorities (nine provincial and one federal)under Section 13 of the Statistics Act.

The purpose of the survey is to provide information on the terms and conditions of Registered Pension Plans (RPPs), membership in them and contributions made by and on behalf of the members.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

Once data are captured, either electronically or manually, the data is subject to validity checks to detect inconsistencies. Tolerance level edits are completed for membership counts, contributions and market value of assets. Once an inconsistency is identified a follow-up is completed with the jurisdiction to confirm the values.

Imputation

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Estimation

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Data are validated by comparing aggregates to the prior year and ensuring that any significant changes are explainable by identifying the plans responsible.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

The information presented in the tables has been reviewed to ensure that the confidentiality of data on individual pension plans is respected. The data have been tabulated in such a way as to make it impossible to determine the identity of any specific plan. In the tables, data that have been suppressed due to confidentiality are indicated by an "x".

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

Pension Plans in Canada is a census that uses mainly administrative data and the information is considered very reliable.

Documentation

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