Canada’s unions celebrate adoption of CPP expansion legislation

November 30, 2016

Canada’s unions are celebrating today’s adoption by the House of Commons of Bill C-26, a legislation that will expand the Canada Pension Plan for the first time in the plan’s history.

“Winning a stronger CPP has been a key priority for us for years and is an excellent example of the good that can come from collaborative work between unions and governments at the federal and provincial level,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

“This increase will benefit today’s young workers the most, which is especially important in a world where good, secure jobs are so hard to come by, making saving almost impossible,” he added.

Yussuff said he welcomed the government’s acknowledgment that amendments were needed to ensure that no Canadians, particularly women and persons with disabilities, are excluded from the benefits outlined in Bill C-26.

“This oversight means the legislation, unless amended, discriminates against anyone who leaves the workforce to care for children or for health reasons, disproportionately disadvantaging women and workers with disabilities. We hope the government will work with the provinces to amend the legislation as soon as possible and correct this oversight,” said Yussuff. 

CPP expansion has been a priority for Canada’s unions for decades, despite the fact that the majority of union members have pension plans at work. Here’s why:

  • Fewer than 40 percent of Canadian workers have access to a pension plan at work. In the private sector, that number drops to less than 25 percent, and for workers under 29, to just 13 percent;
  • Today, even workers with a workplace pension plan or alternate savings are vulnerable to financial insecurity in retirement. Fewer employers are offering workplace pensions and more workplace pensions are seeing reduced benefits;
  • The CPP follows workers from job to job, keeps up with the cost of living, and pays out benefits for life, regardless of how the stock market performs.

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