Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s announcement today that he will “consult” Canadians on voluntary increased Canadian Pension Plan contributions shows the government is more worried about appearances than actually tackling Canada’s retirement security crisis, says Canada’s largest labour body.
“We know through polling that an overwhelming majority of Canadians already support expanding the CPP through increased mandatory contributions,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.
“Why stall with more consultations when there is already so much consensus around the right solution for Canada’s retirement crisis?” he asked.
The CLC has long held that a voluntary scheme won’t work.
“The CPP is so successful precisely because contributions are mandatory, not voluntary,” said Yussuff.
“Voluntary contributions would be more complicated and costly to administer, and, would leave workers behind when employers choose not to match increases,” he added.
The rate for CPP contributions was originally set up assuming that most workers would be able to supplement CPP savings with workplace pension plans. But today, two in three working Canadians – that’s 11 million workers – have no workplace pension plan.
“After a lifetime of hard work, nobody should have to retire in poverty, and unless we act now, we are going to see more and more seniors facing that future,” said Yussuff.
“This government needs to listen to what Canadians are already saying and begin a phased-in doubling of the CPP,” he added.