PART 1: I’m 25 and don’t understand anything about retirement

Let’s start from the beginning.  I’m 25 and I have no idea what a pension plan is.  It’s as simple as that. As you may have noticed, I never had a pension plan before because I was precarious worker for a while. When I started my new job, I realized I’d have to pay a deduction for a pension plan on each pay and had no idea what this involved.  You know what I felt at this time?  Ignorance. I was supposed to trust a system when I had no idea of its practices and results.

The people around me talked about RRSP, QPP/CPP, different pension plans (because there are several?) and OAS. I had no idea what all these concepts meant, and when and how they should apply.  I also understood that almost everyone around me had some idea of what a pension plan was but were only partially able to explain how it worked. (In fact, I understand they have a full-time job and responsibilities that hinder them from learning more about a complex subject like pensions).

Subsequently, in my new job, I was mandated to inform our members and Canadians about which pension plan is the best and why.  Wait a minute! I don’t know anything, and I’m supposed to inform you all about it.  I looked on the Internet to find out the basics about pensions, but that was game over, because the Internet is a little too big and I didn’t even know where to start (and it was all another different language that I don’t understand; so confusing). I then met a few experts who explained that all these plans are really complicated and that I had to do my own research if I wanted to learn more on the subject. That was game over again.  I was discouraged and frustrated. If I hadn’t had the mandate to inform you about this, you can believe me I would have quit well before the meeting with the experts.  I therefore decided to change my strategy and talk to you about my own experience in learning, so I had to take time to get informed and be able to communicate with you better.

After all these feelings, I no longer wonder why in Québec, nearly 50% of retirees are poor and 33% of Canadians will have to work after age 70. No specific education on pensions is required when we are at school, and accurate information on pension plans isn’t easily accessible (it’s easy to get lost as a beginner in the field). We must constantly insist on obtaining information about our future.  This doesn’t seem to be a major issue in our society, even though the statistics prove otherwise.  That’s why I decided to tell you about my struggle and my path in learning more about “how to plan my retirement well”. I invite you to follow me on my journey to educate myself about my future; your futur.

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