Incomes of younger retired women:
the past 30 years
Younger retired Canadians have become more reliant on pension income. In 1971, the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans and private pensions provided only 14% of total income for women aged 65 to 69 and 19% for men. By 1997, income from these sources had increased to 36% and 46%, respectively.
Public and private pension income has helped raise the relative income of 65-to-69 year-old women-from 41% of men's in 1971 to 61% in 1997.
The main source of income received by younger retired women in 1997 (34%) was still the combined Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). For men, the OAS/GIS represented only 19% of their income.
Women's retirement pension income has risen because of their increased labour force attachment. Yet, although their years of service, earnings, and participation in pension plans have become increasingly similar to men's, considerable differences persist.
Women still spend, on average, more time per week than men on unpaid work: 38 hours versus 22 for those aged 35 to 44. This naturally affects the time they have available for paid work (27 hours versus 43 for men in this age group) and, ultimately, their current and retirement incomes.
Katherine Marshall is with the Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.