Employee finances still precarious: Survey

Many living paycheque to paycheque, saving little for retirement

Canadian employees continue to live paycheque to paycheque, with 59 per cent saying they would be in financial difficulty if their paycheque was delayed by a week, according to a survey by the Canadian Payroll Association.

Younger workers are having the greatest trouble, with 65 per cent of those aged 18-34 saying it would be very difficult, difficult or somewhat difficult for them to meet their current financial obligations if they missed even one paycheque.

The situation is also most precarious for single parents, with 76 per cent saying they would have some trouble making ends meet if their pay were delayed (a four-per-cent increase from last year), according to the National Payroll Week Employee Survey of 2,766 employees.

However, 62 per cent of respondents indicate it is likely they will get a salary increase over the next 12 months (an increase of three per cent from 2009). On the other hand, 83 per cent expect their cost of living will increase.

As to whether their salaries will keep pace with inflation, 39 per cent say they'll likely keep up and 38 per cent say they will likely fall behind. Only seven per cent feel any salary increase will exceed the cost of living.

When it comes to remuneration, 61 per cent say receiving higher wages from their employer is most important, ahead of better retirement benefits (20 per cent), more health benefits (13 per cent) and education funding (six per cent).

Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of generation Y (18-34) are looking for better wages (a five- per-cent increase from 2009) while almost 40 per cent of baby boomers (55-65) favour more retirement benefits.

Less than one-half (47 per cent) of Canadian workers are saving five per cent or less of their net pay as compared to 50 per cent last year. However, 18 per cent of Canadians are saving more, with a five-per-cent increase in the number of individuals who are saving 16 per cent or more of their paycheques.

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