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Working in retirement.Andreas Karelias

Retirement for most Canadians won't mean just sitting back and taking it easy, according to a new study by the Bank of Montreal, which found that 81 per cent of those surveyed plan on doing some kind of work in their golden years.

"The top reason was the need for additional income," said BMO's Marlena Pospiech.

"It may reflect the fact that people are realizing that they haven't saved as aggressively as they should have," said Pospiech, a senior manager with BMO Wealth Planning Group.

People are living longer, there are fewer employer-sponsored pension plans and many Canadians will be working longer before collecting government pensions, Pospiech said from Toronto.

And this is starting to get people thinking about their retirement income, she added.

Beginning in 2023, the federal government will gradually shift the age of eligibility for old age security and guaranteed income supplement payments from 65 to 67.

Pospiech said past studies indicate that people generally haven't been maximizing their RRSP contributions.

This year's deadline for contributions to Registered Retirement Savings Plan is March 1.

"So for people who are looking forward to retirement, I think the message has been sent loud and clear that they've got to save personally."

The online study by market research firm Pollara surveyed 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between Jan. 17 and Jan. 22.

Besides extra income, respondents also said they would work in retirement to stay sharp and as "enjoyable hobby," according to the study released Tuesday.

Two in five Canadians were also likely to start their own business in retirement, the survey said.

"We see that more often, according to our survey, with that being the case with men," Pospiech said, noting it's a new trend to be an entrepreneur in retirement.

It's a desire for people to be "their own boss" and it's a new beginning, she said.

Almost half of Canadians surveyed said they would use a portion of their retirement savings to fund their business, the survey said.

That indicates a high degree of optimism and it would indicate that at least some retirees planning to start a business have that "extra cushion" or cash flow if they are going to fund it with their retirement savings, she said.