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Retirement incomes, labour supply and co-residency decisions of older immigrants in Canada: 1991 - 2006

TitleRetirement incomes, labour supply and co-residency decisions of older immigrants in Canada: 1991 - 2006
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMcDonald, J. T., and Worswick C.
JournalCanadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network (CLSRN) Working Papers
Date PublishedApril
Keywordsgender, housing, immigrant, income, labour supply, pensions, retirement

The incomes, hours of work and co-residency behavior of older immigrants in Canada are analyzed using data from the confidential master files of the Canadian Census for the years 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. Older immigrants in Canada have lower incomes than the Canadian-born of the same age range and this difference is concentrated in the immigrants who arrived older than age 50. However, there is also evidence that the effects of the lower incomes on the welfare of these immigrants are mitigated to a certain extent through co-residency, presumably with their younger relatives already resident in Canada. Immigrants reside with, on average, more family members than do the Canadian born. A clear pattern is present of immigrant groups with relatively low average incomes being the ones living in larger economic families. Immigrants who arrive at younger ages (25-49) are more likely to be employed and if they are employed, they tend to work longer hours than their Canadian born counterparts. For immigrants who arrived after age 50, their employment decisions do not differ greatly from their Canadian born counterparts; however, if they work, their hours of work tend to be higher. Immigrants have relatively less income from private pensions compared with the Canadian born. Immigrants from non-traditional source countries have low levels of CPP/QPP income relative to immigrants from traditional source countries or the Canadian born. In terms of OAS/GIS income, immigrant men who arrived at age 60 or older have in the order of 50% lower incidence of receiving pension income than do immigrants who arrived at younger ages. In contrast, for immigrant men who arrived age 25-49, we do not see large differences in their incidence or level of income received from OAS/GIS relative to otherwise similar Canadian born men.

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