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Where does retirement income come from?

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As you approach this exciting next stage of your life, you may have questions about where you’ll get your retirement income.

If you’re contributing to a group retirement or savings plan, you’ll want to become familiar with how other sources of income will balance your retirement income picture.

Think of retirement income as a three-legged stool – government pensions, company plans, and personal savings and investments.

1. Government pensions

Government pensions like CPP or QPP are intended to replace a portion of your earnings, but only up to a certain limit. How much you get will depend on how much you earned during your working life and how long you’ve contributed.

The amount of old age security (OAS) you receive will depend on your income in retirement and the length of time you’ve lived in Canada. The majority of Canadians qualify for this pension.

Keep in mind you must apply for all government pensions. In its 2019 budget, the federal government announced that, starting 2020, enrollment to the CPP will become automatic for individuals aged 70 or older. No similar announcement was made for the QPP. To get an idea of how much CPP and OAS pension you can expect to receive, call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 or visit their websiteOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window . For QPP benefits, contact the Retraite Québec at 1-800-463-5185 or their websiteOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .

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2. Company retirement and savings plans

If you have a company group retirement or savings plan, it may be a significant part of your retirement income. But it won’t be all you need.

You’ll want to review your company plan so you know ahead of time if you should save more or revisit your investment strategy. Resources like the Plan your retirement tool are available to Canada Life group plan members by signing in to GRS Access - Opens in a new window .

3. Personal savings

Your personal savings could make the difference between surviving your retirement years and living your retirement dreams. When planning your future, take your personal savings into consideration. These could include your bank accounts, real estate or registered and non-registered individual savings plans.

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Next lesson: Government income sources