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June 2002     Vol. 3, no. 6

Pensions: Immigrants and visible minorities

René Morissette

  • In 1998, 53% of immigrant men aged 25 to 54 had a pension plan in association with their job, compared with 57% of men born in Canada. The comparable percentages for women were 44% and 48% respectively.
  • Pension coverage of men who belonged to a visible minority (most of whom are immigrants) was only 46% in 1998, much lower than the rate observed for other male employees (57%). In contrast, pension coverage of visible-minority women was 45%, fairly close to that of other women (48%).
  • Visible-minority immigrant men had substantially lower coverage than other immigrant men; the gap in coverage amounted to 15 percentage points. Half of the gap could be explained by differences in time spent in Canada, union status, firm size, and industry of employment.


René Morissette is with the Business and Labour Market Analysis Division. He can be reached at (613) 951-3608 or

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