Pension Plans in Canada

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1960

Reference period of change - January 1, 2004

Coverage rates (or proportion of paid workers or labour force covered by a pension plan) refer to December 31 data. Historical coverage rates go back to 1977, since that is the last year for which revised labour force data were available. Registered pension plan (RPP) coverage rates for Canadian workers are obtained by dividing the number of RPP members by paid workers or labour force. The two data sources are comparable, but there are some differences in concepts. First, labour force estimates are annual averages, whereas registered pension plan membership represents the number of active, paid workers during the plan year, but usually as of December 31. Second, the Labour Force Survey does not include full-time members of the Canadian Forces. Estimates of paid workers and labour force are adjusted for this difference by including them. Since data from labour force used in this release do not include people living on Indian reserves or in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, or people working outside Canada (less than 1% of total RPP membership), those people are excluded from the total number of RPP membership.

Reference period of change - January 1, 2003

Beginning with the survey reference date of January 1, 2003, data for small plans (individual or connected pension plans) that are not registered with a pension authority are imputed using data from Canada Revenue Agency.

Reference period of change - January 1, 1998

Data on RPPs were produced on an occasional basis in 1960, 1965 and 1970. It became an annual survey since the survey reference date of January 1, 1974.

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