TORONTO—A new survey from the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) shows that 47per cent of working Canadians are living paycheque-to-paycheque.
The CPA says its survey results continue to illustrate that many Canadians are challenged by debt, are worried about their local economy and are not saving enough for retirement.
The results come from the National Payroll Week (NPW) Employee Survey also show that working Canadians are experiencing a high level of financial stress, ultimately impacting their work performance, and that too few are keeping a close eye on their finances.
Half of employees feel that financial stress is impacting their work performance. What’s more, just 52 per cent say they budget frequently; with an astounding 31 per cent of this group saying that they keep their budget in their head. Of those who do budget, 52 per cent say they usually or always stick to their budget.
“We know that many working Canadians are struggling to make ends meet financially and they need help,” says Janice MacLellan, Vice President of Operations at the CPA. “While many Canadians are well-intentioned, our survey results show that they are not making enough progress towards financial health, and ultimately, this is impacting their work and their lives.”
Can employers help?
Currently, 38 per cent of Canadians rely on financial advisors and banks for financial and retirement planning advice. A further 27 per cent lean on friends and family and the internet for this important information.
However, Canadian workers also have a strong appetite for employer-provided financial education programs, with an astonishing 82 per cent indicating they would be interested if employers offered information at work. But, workers have timing expectations: 54 per cent would prefer that employers offered lunch and learns but only 8 per cent would be interested if information was offered after work hours.
“Financial stress affects both mental and physical health which can impact workplace productivity. Increased financial literacy can help reduce financial stress,” says Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “Employers are in a unique position to reach people where they are and help them develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions. The results benefit everyone.”
Pay Yourself First
The CPA a key message is to “pay yourself first” to prepare for a healthy financial future. Currently 61 per cent of Canadian employers offer a “Pay Yourself First” option through payroll which enables employees to set up automatic payroll deductions to direct a portion of their net pay into a separate retirement or savings account. Of those employers that do not currently offer this option, an additional one-third are considering making it available.