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The Third Rail: Confronting Our Pension Failures [Hardcover]

Jim Leech , Jacquie McNish
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 29 2013
Over the next 20 years more than 7 million Canadian workers will retire. Baby boomers, the 45- to 65-year-olds who account for 42% of the country's workforce, will join the largest job exodus in Canadian history, moving to the promised land of retirement. Unless our crumbling pension system is reformed, many of these retirees will find this dreamland a bewildering and disappointing mirage.

In the early 1980s, consumers were setting aside 20% of their disposable incomes to their retirement plans; today the savings rate is a threadbare 2.5%. Retirement savings plans meant to build Canadians' personal war chests for their final years have failed to live up to their cheery promises of early retirement "freedom" - market returns are low, and financial fees are climbing. Moreover, retirement plans are now being compromised by high pension obligations and a shrinking workforce.

Canada has the capacity to diffuse this ticking pension time bomb with some hard choices, posits Leech. It's time for businesses, governments, unions, and employees to face these options and fix - and ultimately save - our pensions system, taking examples from Holland, New Brunswick, and Rhode Island - places in which new laws have been adopted to repair the pensions programs.

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About the Author

Before becoming president and CEO of the OTPP in 2007, JIM LEECH was president and CEO of Unicorp Canada Corporation, one of Canada's first public merchant banks, and Union Energy Inc., then one of North America's largest integrated energy and pipeline companies. During the 1990s, he guided two start-up technology companies -- DisysCorporation and Kasten Chase Applied Research - to the revenue generation stage. Leech serves on the boards of Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation, the MasterCard Foundation and was a founding director of Right To Play International. He also chairs the advisory board of the Queen's School of Business and is on the advisory board for The Learning Partnership, the advisory council for the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Toronto Financial Services Leadership Council. In 2012, Leech was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of his work with the True Patriot Love Foundation.

JACQUIE McNISH is a senior writer with the Globe and Mail and regular host on BNN, Canada's business news network. She is the winner of five National Newspaper Awards and the author of two bestselling books.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Thi9rd Rail Feb. 5 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well written and informative. Brings light to what is a very important challenge to modern society.Good models of reform proposed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Short on solutions Jan. 29 2014
Format:Hardcover
An interesting read though the conclusion(s) was pretty obvious. We all have to share the risk when it comes to pension savings and payouts. But in the end we will all see reduced benefits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An exquistiely important book for our demographic Jan. 20 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This information is so impritant to us and others in our demographic. We need to take care of ourselves because the goverment is not going to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Risk of Future Financial Support Jan. 20 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every young person in this country should read this. They can't assume they will be taken care of without some serious watchdog effort being carried out by them for their long term financial interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Canadian Perspective Jan. 14 2014
By H.Barca
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I hope that this book is the first of many. It addresses the pension crisis from a Canadian perspective, a rare find. It offers solutions in simple language that is technical enough to make its point to the lay person. The best read on a topic all-too often ignored by our elected politicians, until the runaway train of pension promises and short-term political demagogy hits the "third rail".
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