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How Unions Help All Workers – Unionized Worker in Canada More Likely to Have Retirement Benefits Than Non-Unionized Worker


How Unions Help All Workers – Unionized Worker in Canada More Likely to Have Retirement Benefits Than Non-Unionized Worker

A unionized worker in Canada stands to enjoy a number of benefits that aren’t available to workers not covered by a collective agreement, including better wages and working conditions, as well as a more equitable employer/employee relationship.

There’s another benefit to add to the list of how unions help all workers retirement preparedness.

If you are in a union, you are far more likely to have a retirement plan supported by an employer, either through matching contributions in a defined contribution model or a traditional defined benefit pension. According to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), more than 70 per cent of unionized workers are enrolled in some type of retirement plan, compared to less than 30 per cent of non-union workers.

Organized labour has led the fight to enhance retirement security for all Canadians, not just members of unions, for decades. That includes the campaign to enhance Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, an effort that succeeded in the summer of 2016 when the federal government reached agreement with the provinces to bolster the CPP. It’s just one example of how unions help all workers.

“Winning a stronger CPP (was) a key priority for us for years and is an excellent example of the good that can come from collaborative work between unions and governments at the federal and provincial level,” Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) President Hassan Yussuff is quoted saying. “This increase will benefit today’s young workers the most, which is especially important in a world where good, secure jobs are so hard to come by, making saving almost impossible.”

Secure Retirement Income Helps Workers, Families and Communities

Unions were also active in the fight to reverse the move to increase Old Age Security (OAS) eligibility to 67 from 65, campaigned for an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low-income Canadians, and fought for better retirement security for all Canadians … more examples of how unions help all workers.

Retirement security for union members means that they can rely on a steady flow of income in their later years, continuing to support their families and communities. A study by the Boston Consulting Ground for Canada’s biggest pension plans found that retirees with secure, dependable income are more likely to remain consumers, contributing to local economies.

In small Ontario towns, for example, spending by recipients of traditional pension income provided 11 per cent of total earnings by local businesses, and seven per cent across the province, on average.

Important Retirement Questions to Ask

These questions include:

  • Who do I want to spend my retirement with? Is it important to have friends and family nearby?
  • What financial resources do I need? What will I do with my time?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • Why do I want to retire? Is it really time? Am I financially ready? Are my friends and peers retired?
  • When do I want to retire? What is my goal age and approximately how long will I be retired?
  • How do I want to live my life? Do I plan to maintain my same quality of life?

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and the Trustees of the IUPAT Industry Pension Fund understand that planning for retirement must be a priority for members. Whether you are looking forward to a well-deserved rest in the next few years, or planning for 25 years down the road, your pension benefit with IUPAT is designed to meet your needs.

For more information about how unions help all workers, call us at 1-800-554-2479 or email

Contact us for more information today, and a union representative will get back to you shortly.