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Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, PhD FSA

Bonnie-Jeanne is the Senior Research Fellow of the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.  She is also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the resident scholar at Eckler Ltd. 

Her research focuses on the retirement and health programs available to Canada's aging population with the goal of helping older Canadians have better financial security. Bringing together leading industry experts and building on academic best practices coupled with innovative research, her insightful perspectives continue to help advance the retirement security landscape.

Dr. MacDonald is a prolific guest speaker at industry and public policy engagements, and she recently appeared before parliament as a witness on how government can better support the well-being of Canadian seniors. In 2014, her research created the concept of the Living Standard Replacement Rate (LSRR). That paper won the 2014 Pension, Benefits and Social Security Scientific Committee Award Prize for Best Paper at the 30th International Congress of Actuaries.

Already helping sponsors and members of retirement plans in the Canadian retirement service industry, the LSRR work is also informing professionals as it has been added to the Society of Actuaries Fellowship examination requirements for new actuaries.

A recipient of the 2001 Gold Medal in Actuarial Science (Hon BSc) at the University of Western Ontario, Bonnie-Jeanne received her FSA in 2004, and also holds a PhD in Actuarial Mathematics from Scotland's Heriot-Watt University. In 2011, she was chosen one of  Canada's top young economists and attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

Academic Publications

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald (2018). Headed for the Poorhouse: How to Ensure Seniors Don’t Run Out of Cash before they Run Out of TimeC.D. Howe Institute Commentary no. 500.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Richard J. Morrison, Marvin Avery, and Lars Osberg. (forthcoming). Drawing Down Retirement Savings - Do Pensions, Taxes and Transfers Matter Much?

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Lars Osberg and Kevin Moore. (2016). How Accurately does 70% Final Earnings Replacement Measure Retirement Income (In)Adequacy? Introducing the Living Standards Replacement Rate (LSRR).  Rotman International Center for Pension Management (University of Toronto) Funded Project. ASTIN Bulletin - The Journal of the International Actuarial Association, 46(3): 627-676, DOI: 10.1017/asb.2016.20

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Lars Osberg. (2013). Canadian Retirement Incomes: How Much Do Financial Markets Matter? SOA and Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC) Funded Project. Canadian Public Policy, 40(4): 315-335

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Bruce Jones, Richard J. Morrison, Robert L. Brown and Mary Hardy (2013). Research and Reality: A Literature Review on Drawing Down Retirement Financial Savings. North American Actuarial Journal, 17(3): 181-215.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Kevin Moore, He Chen, and Robert L. Brown. (2011). Canadian National Retirement Risk Index: Employing Statistics Canada’s LifePaths to Measure the Financial Security of Future Canadian Seniors. Canadian Public Policy, 37(1): 73-94.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Andrew J. Cairns. (2011). Three Retirement Decision Models for Defined Contribution Pension Plan Members: A Simulation Study. Insurance: Mathematics and Economics 48(1): 1-18.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Doug Andrews and Robert L. Brown. (2010). The Canadian Elder Standard- Pricing the Cost of Basic Needs for the Canadian ElderlyCanadian Journal on Aging, SEDAP Special Issue 29(1): 39-56.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Andrew J. Cairns. (2009). Getting Feedback on Defined Contribution Pension Plans. Journal of Risk and Insurance 76(2): 385-417

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Andrew J. Cairns. (2007). The Impact of DC Pension Systems on Population Dynamics. North American Actuarial Journal 11(1): 17-48 

Media Publications

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Comment Se Traduiront les Réformes du RPC et du RRQ Pour Les Aînés Canadiens?” La Presse (August 2018)

Bonnie Jeanne-MacDonald, “What CPP reforms mean for Canadian seniors” Globe and Mail (June 2018)

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Why women (especially) should delay taking CPP”. Globe and Mail (August 2017)

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Creating a new norm for evaluating retirement income adequacy.” The Actuary (June 2017).

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Replacing the Replacement Rate: A better way to determine retirement income adequacy.” SOA International News (May 2017)

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Replacing the Replacement Rate: A better way to determine retirement income adequacy.”  Benefits and Pensions Monitor (The Canadian Magazine of Employee Pension Fund Investment and Benefits Plan Management). February 2017.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Research: Retirement Income - How much is enough?” Investment & Pensions Europe Magazine. October 2016.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald. “Replacing the replacement rate: How much is ‘enough’ retirement income?” International Longevity Centre – UK. October 2016.

In the News

Keith Ambachtsheer, “How to avoid outliving your money” MoneySense. March, 2018.

Ian McGugan, “The idea that could save Canadians’ retirements” The Globe and Mail. March, 2018.

Kerry Pechter, “In Canada, ‘Life’ Begins at 85” Retirement Income Journal. March, 2018

Fred Vettese, “Is a 70% retirement replacement income target too high?” The Globe and Mail. February, 2018

Jonathan Chevreau, “An annuity that pays off – if you live long enough” MoneySense. January, 2018

Michael McKiernan “Challenging the rules of thumb: Taking CPP early, the value of annuitizing and saving 10%” Benefits Canada. October 2017.

Susan Yellin, “New model may better predict income adequacy in retirement”  The Insurance & Investment Journal. April, 2017.

Rob Carrick. “The new way to tell if you’ve saved enough for retirement” Globe and Mail. February 2017.

 “Have your say: Is the 70% replacement rate a good measure of retirement income?” Benefits Canada. October 2016.

Sara Tatelman. “Tips for implementing a living standards replacement rate” Benefits Canada. September 2016

Fred Vettese, “CPP changes may not ensure appropriate income” MoneySense. August, 2016

Michelle Cremin. “The Living Standards Replacement Ratio” NEST Insight Blog. June 2016.

Yaelle Gang. “Researcher calls for rethink of replacement rates” Benefits Canada. April 2016.

David Aston, “How much money will you need to retire?” MoneySense. August, 2013

Upcoming Events

The Actuarial Research Conference 2018
Date: August 11, 2018
Location: University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

Conference Annuelle l’Association Québécoise de la Retraite et des Avantages Sociaux
Date: September 10, 2018
Location: La Malbaie, Quebec

N.S. Teachers’ Pension Plan Trustee Board
Date: September 17, 2018
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

CPBI - Atlantic Regional Conference
Date: October 4, 2018
Location: Digby, Nova Scotia

SOA Annual General Meeting
Date: October 14, 2018
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

N.S. Public Service Superannuation Plan
Date: October 18, 2018
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Abelica Global Annual Conference
Date: October 28 – 31, 2018
Location: Montreal, Quebec

(Keynote) 51st Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference
Date: November 19, 2018
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

(Keynote) Annual Conference & Awards of Investment & Pensions Europe
Date: December 5, 2018
Location: Dublin, Ireland