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Pension Hub

Robo Advisors for Canadian Pension Participants

This project provides a discussion of the state of the market for robo advisors in Canada that could assist pension participants, comparing that approach to traditional approaches provided by financial advisers or by target date funds.

The paper will have two parts. The first part will evaluate the potential for robo advisors to provide more efficient, cost-effective individualized assistance to pension participants for portfolio construction. The second part will evaluate the currently available robo advisors in Canada that do or potentially could provide this service.

Because of low levels of financial literacy and the heterogeneity of pension participants, many pension participants need individualized help in selecting the investments in their pension portfolios. This paper evaluates robo advisors as a possible new approach for personalized assistance, comparing their strengths and weaknesses to traditional approaches. Robo advisors may provide a more efficient, cost-effective method of providing pension participants with personalized assistance with portfolio construction.


Pension Policy Center


John A. Turner



John A Turner

John A. Turner is Director of the Pension Policy Center. He has published 14 books and more than 100 articles on pension and retirement income policy, and financial advice relating to retirement. He received an award for best article of the year in the Journal of Risk and Insurance. He received a best paper award from the Pension, Benefits and Social Security section of the International Actuarial Association. He received the Department of Labor Special Act Award for work preparing the Secretary of Labor’s Labor Day Report.  He received the inaugural Simplification Award from the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel for the best proposal for simplifying U.S. pension law. He received the volunteer of the year award from the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, an alliance of organizations with more than 100,000 volunteers, for his work training pension regulators in East Africa. According to Google Scholar Citations, he has received more than 3,100 professional citations. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago.