Make Change that Counts: National Financial Literacy Strategy 2021-2026

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC’s) mandate is to protect Canadian financial consumers and strengthen financial literacy. 

The National Strategy is a 5-year plan to create a more accessible, inclusive, and effective financial ecosystem that supports diverse Canadians in meaningful ways. The National Strategy is focused on how financial literacy stakeholders can reduce barriers, catalyze action, and work together, to collectively help Canadians build financial resilience.



Barriers to Digital Equality in Canada

Internet is an essential service. As technology increasingly shapes our world, it is important that Canadians can keep up with the rapid changes, latest skills and emerging industries. Unfortunately, not every resident of Canada is able to access these opportunities to unlock a potentially brighter future.

AIC and ACORN partnered to undertake research with low and moderate income Canadians, in order to uncover the barriers to digital equity that exist in Canada today and shine a light on the urgent need to tackle these barriers to ensure equal access to digital opportunities.



Proposals for a Northern Market Basket Measure and its disposable income

As stated in the Poverty Reduction Act, the Market Basket Measure (MBM) is now Canada’s Official Poverty Line. The Northern Market Basket Measure (MBM-N) is an adaptation of the MBM that reflects life and conditions in two of the territories – Yukon and Northwest TerritoriesNote. As with the MBM, the MBM-N is comprised of five major components: food, clothing, transportation, shelter and other necessities. The MBM-N is intended to capture the spirit of the existing MBM (i.e., represent a modest, basic standard of living) while accounting for adjustments to the contents of the MBM to reflect life in the North.

This discussion paper describes a proposed methodology for the five components found in the MBM-N, as well as its disposable income. This discussion paper also provides an opportunity for feedback and comments on the proposed methodology of the MBM-N.



Momentum’s Money Management Courses

The money management courses are offered online, on demand, for free. Learn at your own pace and on your own schedule on a variety of topics, including:

  • budgeting
  • credit
  • assets
  • banking
  • consumerism
  • education savings

 



The TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index)

The TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index) measures knowledge and understanding that enable sound financial decision making and effective management of personal finances among U.S. adults. The P-Fin Index is an annual survey developed by the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, in consultation with Greenwald & Associates. It is unique in its breadth of questions and its coverage of the topics that measure financial literacy. The index is based on responses to 28 questions across eight functional areas: earning, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing/managing debt, insuring, comprehending risk, and go-to information sources.



The COVID-19 pandemic and Indigenous people with a disability or long-term condition

This paper uses crowdsourced data to provide an overview of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, service access, and ability to meet basic needs of Indigenous participants with disabilities or long-term conditions. Changes in overall health and mental health are examined by disability type, age group and sex. The most commonly reported service disruptions since the start of the pandemic are also presented.

The crowdsourcing data reflected health and other disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants with a disability or long-term condition. Indigenous participants were more likely to report worsened overall health and mental health, service disruption, and a greater impact on their ability to meet essential needs.



State of Fair Banking in Canada 2020: Borrower and Lender Perspectives

The DUCA Impact Lab defines fair banking as any financial product or service that lives up to the following set of principles:

  • Pricing is clear, transparent, and well understood
  • Pricing is representative of the cost of funds, cost of administration and risk, rather than what the market will bear
  • It is clear to all parties how any personal data is being used by the lender
  • Personal data is only used for purposes agreed to by both the borrower and lender
  • The terms and conditions, including penalties and the rights of each party are clearly explained and well understood by both lender and borrower
  • Products are only recommended that will bring the borrower closer to their expressed goals
  • The borrower is clear on what the institution will do (and not do), with deposits to earn a return
  • The assessment of risk is objective, transparent and not prejudicial
  • Financial institution recommendations are not biased towards in-house product recommendations
  • Products empower consumers when they need access to financial services, not just when they do not

Their Fair Banking 2020 report presents data on the following areas:

  • Debt load and its impact on Canadians
  • Financial confidence
  • Divide between borrowers and lenders
  • How financial products are priced
  • Poor credit and ability to access to financial product and services
  • Demographic snapshot: People of colour and Indigenous Canadians

 



Retirement Security and Financial Decision-making: Research Brief

A growing number of retirees are not experiencing the expected gradual reduction in spending after they retire. This report summarizes the findings of a Bureau study into whether people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had the income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same level of spending for at least five consecutive years after retiring. The study found that about half of people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same spending level for five consecutive years after retiring. In addition, the Bureau found that the ability to maintain the same spending level in the first five years in retirement was associated with large spending cuts in later years. The study helps identify ways to protect retirees from overspending their savings in early retirement.



CPA Canada 2020 Canadian Finance Study

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has released its comprehensive Canadian Finance Study 2020, which examines people's attitudes and feelings towards their personal finances. The results highlight the new financial realities that Canadians are experiencing during these unprecedented times.

Nielsen conducted the CPA Canada 2020 Canadian Finance Study via an online questionnaire, from September 4 to 16, 2020 with 2,008 randomly selected Canadian adults, aged 18 years and over, who are members of their online panel.

Among the key pandemic-related findings:

  • 31 per cent of the participants say their income has decreased as a result of COVID-19.
  • 30 per cent of respondents report COVID-19 has reduced the amount they are saving.
  • 21 per cent of pre-retired respondents reveal they now plan to retire later as a result of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 also is impacting the way survey participants are spending, with 55 per cent saying they are spending less, on average.
  • Nearly half of the respondents (46 per cent) say that their financial situation is about the same as it was a year ago.
  • 77 per cent of those surveyed are not receiving a COVID-19-related benefit from the federal government.



Inter-generational comparisons of household economic well-being, 1999 to 2019

This study of data from the Distributions of Household Economic Accounts compares households' economic well-being from a macro-economic accounts perspective, as measured by net saving and net worth for each generation when the major income earner for a household in one generation reached the same point in the life cycle as the major income earner for a household in another generation. The study finds that while younger generations have higher disposable income and higher consumption expenditure than older generations when they reached the same age, their net saving is relatively similar. As well, younger generations' economic well-being may be more at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic since they depend more on employment as a primary source of income, they have higher debt relative to income, and they have less equity in financial and real estate assets from which to draw upon when needed.



Financial Literacy Month – 10th anniversary Resources

For the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month in Canada, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has released resources to help Canadians learn how to manage their finances in challenging times.

Resources include the following topics:

  • Keep track of your money
  • Minimize debt
  • Reassess financial goals
  • Protect yourself against financial fraud
  • Set up an emergency fund
  • Understand financial products and services

 



Millennials and money: Financial preparedness and money management practices before COVID-19

Millennials (individuals age 18–37 in 2018) are the largest, most highly educated, and most diverse generation in U.S. history

This paper assesses the financial situation, money management practices, and financial literacy of millennials to understand how their financial behaviour has changed over the ten years following the Great Recession of 2008 and the situation they were in on the cusp of the current economic crisis (in 2018) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Findings from the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) show that millennials tend to rely heavily on debt, engage frequently in expensive short- and long-term money management, and display shockingly low levels of financial literacy. Moreover, student loan burden and expensive financial decision making increased significantly from 2009 to 2018 among young adults.



Financial wellness: What is it? How do we make it happen?

Achieving financial wellness takes more than just financial resources. It also requires the ability to make good financial decisions and engage in sound money- management practices. To inform policies and programs that promote financial wellness—including those sponsored by employers—the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center held a roundtable discussion featuring a range of experts. This report presents the key findings and recommendations that emanated from the discussion. To learn more about the roundtable itself, visit TIAA Institute events page.



G20/OECD INFE Core Competencies Framework on financial literacy for Adults (aged 18+)

This document describes the types of knowledge that adults aged 18 or over could benefit from, what they should be capable of doing and the behaviours that may help them to achieve financial well-being, as well as the attitudes and confidence that will support this process. It can be used to inform the development of a national strategy on financial education, improve programme design, identify gaps in provision, and create assessment, measurement and evaluation tools.



OECD/INFE Toolkit for measuring financial literacy and financial inclusion

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation establishes evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges.

The OECD/INFE Toolkit includes a financial literacy questionnaire that captures the financial literacy of diverse populations, first piloted in 2010. In 2015/16 around 40 countries and economies participated in an international survey of adult financial literacy competencies; using data collected using this toolkit.

The OECD/INFE financial literacy and financial inclusion measurement toolkit incorporates:

  • Methodological guidance.
  • A questionnaire designed to capture information about financial behaviour, attitudes and knowledge, in order to assess levels of financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • A list of the questions included in the questionnaire, and information about whether they will be used to create core financial literacy scores used in previous OECD reports (Annex A).
  • Guidance on how to create the financial literacy scores (Annex A).
  • Guidance on briefing interviewers (Annex B) and discussion around online surveys (Annex C).
  • A checklist for countries wishing to submit data to the OECD (Annex D).



COVID-19 financial literacy resources

CPA Canada has put together resources to help manage your finances and provide you with the tools you need during this crisis – and beyond.



COVID-19 Financial Resource Centre

Credit Canada has pulled together financial information from trusted sources and released original content to help Canadians manage their finances during COVID-19.



Beyond Hunger: the hidden impacts of food insecurity

This report illustrates the hidden impacts of food insecurity in people’s lives through a survey of 561 people in 22 communities across Canada. The people interviewed shared that food insecurity makes them ill, breaks down relationships, makes it harder to get stable work, and fully participate in society.