People for Pensions Profile: Janice Ariza

Janice Ariza

After working part time at her employer for over 30 years, in 2010 Janice Ariza became a full-time employee and joined the pension plan.

Janice, who is still working and contributing to her pension, is a single mom, an assistant manager at the LCBO and is active in her local union.

She has known about pensions for decades and as a part-time employee had the option to join her pension plan. However, she never felt she was in a position to put money away for the future. "It's one of those, I wish I had, should have, would of could haves, but I didn't," she said.

When looking back, she noted the contributions required at the time would have been negligible affordable and her employer would have matched these. "It was a little remiss on my part. I wish I had had someone to encourage me."

When she finally did join the Plan, Janice said she realized the full value of having a pension. "It's a time-driven thing and the longer and sooner you're in, the better it is - so unfortunately I just did not catch the bus soon enough."

Although Janice had a later start than she would have liked, she was able to buy back past service to increase her pension benefit. Further, she's already coming up with plans for when she retires. "When I retire, I want to start a breakfast program in a school," she said, adding that she also wants to travel.

Although not as big as she would have hoped, she acknowledged that her pension will help cover a good portion of her expenses in retirement, in addition to her and help round out her Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits. "Because I started so late, it's never going to be, 'Oh I've got all this extra cash.' I will still have to budget unfortunately."

Her advice to her younger self would be to start early. "Start early and let it grow."

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