Can Financial Education Improve Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning?

Another worthwhile paper, this time from Saul Schwartz: it is clear to all and sundry bar the government and our regulators!  Hat tip Ken Kivenko

Excerpt from conclusion

“The current federal government’s main response to the important issues raised by the lack of financial capability among Canadians has been to appoint a task force on Financial Literacy.

The task force report is likely to be released early in 2011 and its recommendations are not yet known. If, however, the task force concludes that widespread financial education is the best way forward, that’s just not good enough: stronger measures are both desirable and available to address the lack of retirement planning that seems to follow from the more general lack of financial capability.

I believe that a better way for government to address these problems would be for it to devise a national strategy on consumer protection rather than on financial capability. Such a strategy should include at least three components designed to help Canadians deal with financial issues in general, and with retirement planning in particular. First, third pillar pension programs need to be redesigned; second, the financial industry needs to be substantively regulated; and, third, Canadians need to be provided with impartial third-party advice on financial products and services.”

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