happy young couple discussing with a financial agent

People who have documented retirement plans most likely got help from a financial advisor, according to a survey from Benefits Canada.

Benefits Canada’s CAP Member Pulse Survey polled 500 respondents who participate in capital accumulation plans (such as DC plans, group RRSPs and group TFSAs) provided by their employers.

When it comes to retirement planning, respondents who had a documented financial plan were most likely to have worked with a financial advisor to develop it.

More than two-thirds (39%) said they had an in-person meeting with a financial advisor to develop their formal retirement plan, followed by 36% who used online web tools and 32% who used paper-based plans.

But financial advisors proved more popular with some generations than others.

Approximately two-thirds (66%) of baby boomers (aged 55 and up) said they had met with an advisor to develop their plan, followed by 35% of millennials (aged 18 to 34) and only 28% of Gen X respondents (aged 35 to 54).

Online web tools were most popular with millennials (42%), followed by Gen X (38%) and boomers (26%).

The survey also asked how respondents determine whether they’re on track to meet their financial targets. Fifty-five per cent said they review their plan statements, followed by 43% who said they discuss their progress with their advisor. The advisor option was roughly equally popular among all three demographic groups (44% of millennials, 42% of Gen X and 42% of boomers).

When respondents were asked what retirement-planning services were available to them, the top answer was free access to an independent financial advisor (27%), followed by online tools (26%) and hard copy information on their options (22%).