“Workers need access to low-cost, well-managed additional pension arrangements to achieve their retirement goals.”
Ottawa (21 May 2010) – The CEOs of a number of Canada’s largest pension plans sent an open letter to Finance Ministers across the country urging them to acknowledge that pension coverage problems are real and must be dealt with.
The letter notes that “getting the solution to Canada’s pension coverage and cost-effectiveness challenges right is an issue of great national importance”. It calls on the Finance Ministers “to strike an impartial Federal-Provincial Task Force with a mandate to identify the best possible solution to Canada’s pension coverage and cost-effectiveness challenges.”
The letter was sent prior to an upcoming meeting of federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers on pension reform scheduled for June 13–14 in Prince Edward Island.
The pension plan CEOs believe Canada’s current public pension structure (i.e., OAS/CPP/) offers a good start. However, they point out that the system as exists today is unable to provide Canadian workers with adequate retirement income.
Somewhere between one-half and three-quarters of Canada’s private sector workforce does not have access to a workplace pension plans.
The letter states, “This raises serious questions about whether millions of these workers will save enough on their own to maintain their desired post-work standard of living, and also about the level of fees they may incur in attempting to do so. To that end, workers also need access to low-cost, well-managed additional pension arrangements to achieve their retirement goals. This is where Canada must do better.”
The CEOs say the federal-provincial Task Force they are proposing “would use (rather than duplicate) the work of the excellent pension reform commissions and research studies already undertaken. The Task Force’s mandate would flow directly from a clear statement by the Finance Ministers that Canada’s pension coverage and cost challenges are real and that they require resolution. It would be up to the Ministers to agree on and set clear boundaries within which the Task Force’s recommended solution to the problem must lie.“
They suggest that the Task Force be given a short, pre-set time frame (e.g., six months).
The letter is signed by:
- Leo de Bever, President and CEO, Alberta Investment Management Corporation
- Meryl Whittaker, President and CEO, Alberta Local Authorities Pension Plan
- Emilian Groch, CEO, Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board
- Douglas Pearce, CEO, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
- John Crocker, President and CEO, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
- Colleen Troelstrup, Director, IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan
- Michael Nobrega, President and CEO, Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System
- James Leech, President and CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
- William Moriarty, President and CEO, University of Toronto Asset Management
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE