Pension experts call on finance ministers to expand CPP | National Union of Public and General Employees

Pension experts call on finance ministers to expand CPP

“The CPP offers an already existing administrative structure and framework to improve retirement benefits for working Canadians at relatively low cost.”

Ottawa (15 December 2011) – A group of pension experts, including a former chief actuary of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), is calling on Canada's finance ministers to commit to expanding the CPP.

In an open letter Tuesday to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his provincial and territorial counterparts, the group said a growing body of research indicates many Canadians will likely have inadequate savings to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

“Several recent studies project that a significant proportion of middle-income earners risk a non-trivial reduction in their living standards upon retirement," said the letter signed by the CPP's former chief actuary, Bernard Dussault, and five others.

The other signatories include Bob Baldwin, an expert adviser for the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions; Keith Horner, a pensions consultant and a former federal Finance Department official; Jonathan Rhys Kesselman, the Canada research chair in public finance at Simon Fraser University; Monica Townson, an economic consultant who served on the Pension Commission of Ontario, and Michael Wolfson, the Canada research chair in population health modeling / populomics at the University of Ottawa.

The experts urge the finance ministers to expand the Canada Pension Plan. “The CPP offers an already existing administrative structure and framework to improve retirement benefits for working Canadians at relatively low cost.”

Canada’s finance ministers are to meet in Victoria next week to discuss Ottawa’s proposed pooled registered pension plan framework, the triennial review of the CPP and the state of the economy.

In place of expanding the CPP, Ottawa has tabled legislation on pooled registered pension plans, which has been met with a great deal of criticism.

Last week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) released a study, Pension Breakdown: How the finance ministers bungled pension reform, by pension expert Monica Townson, providing a critical analysis of the PRPP program.

Townson argues that “Canada does not need yet another voluntary tax-assisted retirement savings program. It needs public pensions that provide all Canadians with a basic guarantee of adequate income that will protect their standard of living in retirement. Expanding the Canada Pension Plan would meet that objective.”

More information:

Pooled Registered Pension Plans not the answer to pension crisis: CCPA

Harper government fails to address retirement security crisis with PRPP proposal

All for one. More for all. Ten reasons to expand our Canada Pension Plan

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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