Press release

Retirement savings planning: women still struggling to close the gap with men in Quebec

Montréal, March 7, 2024 – A recent study conducted for the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF) and ÉducÉpargne in collaboration with Léger and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique, sheds light on the numerous challenges faced by women when it comes to planning their retirement.

This survey aimed to better understand the disparities between men and women in regard to retirement savings, taking into account persistent wage inequalities that significantly impact women's savings capacity. The results reveal additional obstacles and anxiety levels that hinder their financial efforts.


More obstacles to savings for women

  • Nearly one in three women in Quebec (30%) has not started planning for retirement, citing insufficient income to save for it, compared to one in five men (20%) in the same situation.
  • Even with equal pay, 21% of Quebec women struggle to save for retirement compared to 16% of Quebec men, with a more pronounced disparity in the income bracket of $50,000 to $74,999 (22% for women compared to 13% for men).
  • In the past five years, 66% of women have faced at least one event limiting their savings capacity, compared to 60% of men. The main obstacles mentioned, in order of importance, include debt repayment, insufficient income, health issues, marital separation, caregiving responsibilities, job loss, and income reduction due to parental leave.
  • 60% of women report earning a lower salary than their spouse. Despite this, 43% of households share family expenses equally or proportionally to their respective incomes, a practice that can impoverish the lower-earning individual in the medium and long term if income gaps are substantial.
  • Among couples, only 30% attempt to balance savings with their partner by making investments for each, while 41% save separately (and 11% do not save at all). However, men are much more likely to declare having more savings than their female partners (41% versus 28%).


Retirement, a source of anxiety for women

Overall, 69% of women fear running out of income in retirement, a significantly higher percentage than men (56%). They are also more concerned about not being able to afford necessary care to maintain their independence (58% versus 49%).

This concern is even more pronounced among women with moderate incomes, reaching an alarming level of 74%, while men with the same salary show no significant variation in their concerns (59%). These figures highlight a glaring disparity in the perception of financial security in retirement between genders.

Regardless of income level, women feel significantly less confident in their financial skills compared to men. This disparity manifests in various areas such as savings and investments (33% versus 50%), personal tax management (28% versus 43%), and credit mastery (62% versus 69%).

Faced with these alarming findings, the CSF and ÉducÉpargne call for concerted action to address gaps in financial education, raise awareness about persistent inequalities, and promote fair and inclusive financial management.



"As professionals, our members have an obligation to always act in the best interests of their clients by providing impartial and transparent advice, demystifying information, and meeting the needs of each individual. That's why the CSF is committed to seeking and sharing information that enables our members to have a deep understanding of financial issues while making it available to the general public." - Me Marie Elaine Farley, President and CEO of the Chambre de la sécurité financière

"In light of these results, it seems more essential than ever to properly inform women to help them overcome these barriers and strengthen their confidence in personal finances. Our data shows that financial education is fundamental. Therefore, it will be our role to raise awareness among women about their particular situation, in addition to providing them with possible solutions so they can enjoy sustainable financial health." - Nathalie Bachand, Chair of the Board of ÉducÉpargne

"Salary gaps between women and men are no surprise to anyone. However, what is more concerning is that many couples do not take this gap into account in their daily management, let alone in planning for retirement. It is therefore crucial that professionals and the financial industry ensure that women are well-equipped and sensitize men so that everyone can enjoy a stimulating and financially comfortable retirement." - Hélène Belleau, Professor at INRS and holder of the Chair on Money, Inequalities, and Society



ÉducÉpargne and the Chambre de la sécurité financière will host a webinar open to all on the subject on April 24, 2024. Click HERE for more information (French).


Survey methodology

This web survey was conducted by Léger from December 5 to 16, 2023, with 1,504 Quebec residents aged 25 to 74. The maximum margin of error for a sample of 1,504 respondents is 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


If you would like to see the full results of the study, please write to


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