DB plan membership declines

Statistics Canada shows waning coverage.

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down marketsThe number of Canadian workers with DB plans has continued to decline, says Statistics Canada.

In 2013, almost 4,402,000 employees were in DB plans, down 0.5% from 2012. They accounted for 71.2% of employees with a registered pension plan (RPP), compared with more than 84% a decade earlier.

Membership in DC plans increased 0.6% to 1,037,000 in 2013, accounting for 16.8% of all RPP membership. Just over 86% of members in DC plans worked in the private sector.

Other plan types, such as hybrid or composite plans, continued their upward trend in 2013, with more than 746,000 employees belonging to these plans, up 2% from 2012.

Membership in RPPs totalled 6,185,000 in 2013, virtually unchanged from 2012.

Membership in public sector pension plans rose 0.2% to 3,184,300, while the number of members in private sector plans declined 0.2% to 3,000,900. The public sector accounted for 51.5% of total membership in RPPs.

Although the participation of women in RPPs decreased by 0.5% from 2012, male and female membership remained fairly equal in 2013 at 3.1 million. Women represented 62.8% of membership in the public sector plans in 2013 and 35.9% in the private sector.

The pension coverage rate, the proportion of all employees covered by an RPP, was 37.9% in 2013, down from 38.5% the year before.

In 2013, total employer and employee contributions to RPPs reached a high of $66.7 billion. Employer contributions for unfunded liabilities accounted for $15.1 billion of the total, up from $12.9 billion in 2012. When payments for unfunded liabilities are excluded, employers contributed 61.4% of the total, while employee contributions accounted for the remaining 38.6%.

The market value of assets in RPPs totalled $1.5 trillion in 2013, up 9% from the previous year.

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