More than one-half of Quebec SMEs don’t offer pension plan: Survey

Majority of firms not planning on introducing plan in next 3 years

Retirement planning will remain a major issue for workers of Quebec small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that don't offer pension plans.

According to the latest SME Confidence Index — Fonds de solidarité FTQ, 54 per cent of SMEs do not offer pension plans or other forms of contribution to employees' pension plans. And of these firms, 93 per cent do not intend to do so in the next three years, found the survey of 215 SMEs in Quebec.

The economic sluggishness plaguing Europe and the United States is affecting Quebec SME leaders, pushing the confidence index down by more than two points from May to 67.4.

SME owners generally anticipate a net increase in their number of employees in Quebec but more than 25 per cent expect it to stay the same or decrease. Down just 1.1 points, this indicator has remained fairly stable since May, found the index.

"It's astonishing how despite the fact that 40 per cent of SMEs are already feeling the effects of the labour shortage on sales and believe that the imminent departure of the baby boomers will affect their business, they are not clamouring to take advantage of the incentives offered by the Quebec government to encourage experienced workers to remain in the workforce,” said Luc Godbout, a professor at Université de Sherbrooke and lead researcher in public finance at the Research Chair in Taxation and Public Finance.

“The fact is that only one out of four favours holding onto workers by deferring their retirement. In-house training is a much more popular strategy and sourcing is preferred to integrating immigrant workers.”

The top short-term issue for Quebec SMEs is recruitment (52 per cent), followed by operating costs (42 per cent), found the index.

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