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charting retirement

Charting Retirement is a weekly snapshot of retirement-related data.

People often cite life expectancy as a reason to take Canada Pension Plan benefits early. Two common mistakes are measuring life expectancy from birth and using the wrong mortality table. For CPP deferral purposes, life expectancy should be measured from age 65 using an updated Canadian Pensioners’ Mortality table rather than rates based on the general Canadian population. A second mistake is to use mortality data applicable broadly to all Canadians rather than mortality rates for people who can afford to defer CPP. This subgroup has larger potential retirement income.

Canadian life expectancies

Women

Men

84.6

Measured from birth*

80.8

87.6

Measured from age 65*

85.0

89.2

Measured from age 65**

87.5

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

YEARS

*General population

**Higher income group

the globe and mail, Source: Frederick Vettese; Canadian Pensioners’

Mortality table with mortality improvements; CPP actuarial report

Canadian life expectancies

Women

Men

84.6

Measured from birth*

80.8

87.6

Measured from age 65*

85.0

89.2

Measured from age 65**

87.5

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

YEARS

*General population

**Higher income group

the globe and mail, Source: Frederick Vettese; Canadian Pensioners’

Mortality table with mortality improvements; CPP actuarial report

Canadian life expectancies

Women

Men

84.6

Measured from birth*

80.8

87.6

Measured from age 65*

85.0

89.2

Measured from age 65**

87.5

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

YEARS

*General population

**Higher income group

the globe and mail, Source: Frederick Vettese; Canadian Pensioners’

Mortality table with mortality improvements; CPP actuarial report


Frederick Vettese is former chief actuary of Morneau Shepell and author of Retirement Income for Life.

If you have a retirement-related question you want answered, send us an e-mail. We can’t promise to answer them all but we’ll have a look.