Public service pension and benefits plans surveys

2019 survey

2009 survey

In , the Treasury Board Secretariat surveyed active and retired federal public service pension plan members to assess awareness, knowledge and understanding of their pension plan and assess perceptions of group benefit plans. The survey was also conducted to better understand the impact of the communications activities and products currently in use, in order to help improve communications with plan members.

An on-line survey was conducted with 1,217 employees (active members) while a multi-mode (internet and mail) survey was used with 1,595 former employees (retired members). Fieldwork for the surveys was completed on .

Overall, the surveyed plan members showed varied levels of familiarity with different issues related to the pension plan. However, the picture that emerges is that employees and retirees value information about the pension plan.

Plan members are interested in knowing more, and in general:

  • tend to trust the information they receive (67%), and
  • know where to go to get more information (68%). 

Retired survey participants, (and older plan members approaching retirement), were more knowledgeable about the various aspects of their pension plan.

When comparing the results for active and retired pension plan members, a number of things are worth noting. Retired members are more likely to think the federal plans are better than those offered by other employers and provide more positive self-assessments regarding their knowledge of the plan. Retired members are also more likely to:

  • trust the information they receive about the plan (85%),
  • know where to go for more information (77%), and
  • understand the information they get about the plan (77%).

Active members are more likely to express interest in knowing more about the pension plan, and in receiving additional information about it, particularly information about retirement benefits. Other issues of interest include inflation protection, how the plan is managed, disability benefits, transferring the pension to/from other employers, how to buy back pensionable service, and contributions.

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