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April 2006
Vol. 7, no. 4

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Cracking the RRSP nest egg
Ted Wannell

A registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) constitutes a key component of retirement income planning in Canada. RRSPs allow individuals to save pre-tax dollars in a variety of investment instruments where interest, dividends and capital gains accrue tax free until the funds are withdrawn. However, the taxman will eventually receive his due. RRSPs must be converted into an annuity or a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) in the year the taxpayer turns 69, with prescribed minimum withdrawals starting the following year. RRSP withdrawals already generate significant tax revenues, estimated at over $4 billion in 2002. Although mandatory conversion affects mainly middle- and high-income earners, some low-income savers could have their means-tested social benefits reduced by the boost in income.

On sick leave

Katherine Marshall

Some 720,000 work absences of two weeks or longer due to illness or disability were reported in 2003200,000 of which were work-related. With a median duration of 11 weeks, each of these long-term absences costs roughly $8,800. Furthermore, absences lasting upwards of four months were generally associated with negative health, stress, career stagnation, and heightened chances of being on leave again the following year.

Work absence rates
Work absence rates continue to rise. A detailed look at the statistics for 2005, including by sex, public and private sector, industry and occupation, job status, union coverage, geography, and more.



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