Now is the time to expand the CPP: New CLC research shows enhancements affordable

December 12, 2013
OTTAWA ― Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, says that the time for action has arrived on expanding the Canada and Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP). 

“Retirement security is one of Canadians’ biggest concerns and rightly so,” Georgetti says. “There’s no big secret why we should expand the CPP – it simply makes sense.” Georgetti’s comments come as Canada’s finance ministers plan to meet in Ottawa and at Meech Lake on December 15-16. CPP reform will be uppermost on their agenda. 

The CLC has been advocating since 2009 for improvements to the CPP-QPP which  would guarantee income security for Canadians when they retire. Georgetti says, “Some vested interests in banks or financial institutions that make huge profits from RRSPs and PRPPs are saying it’s not the right time and that the economy is too fragile to allow for improving the CPP. They are dead wrong and our research shows that.”

CLC researchers have compared the financial situation today with that in 1995,
just prior to an increase in CPP premiums, which placed the plan on a firm footing.   “We  have the numbers to prove that current economic conditions are not a barrier to CPP expansion,” Georgetti says. “In fact, expanding the CPP would be good for the economy.”

Georgetti says the need for pension reform is urgent. “Fully 12 million Canadians – two-thirds of all workers – have absolutely no workplace pension plan and that situation is getting worse, not better. Just one-third of all Canadians invest anything in Registered Retirement Savings Plans or RRSPs.”

He says that Canada faces stark choices. “Those without adequate pension retirement income will be dependent on the federal government’s Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement programs to get by. But by 2030 – unless we expand the CPP – the annual costs of the OAS and GIS are projected to triple to $108 billion. That’s an inter-generational tax transfer to young people – they’ll bear the brunt of our inaction through more support for poor seniors in the future, and a bleak outlook for their own retirement with inadequate pensions.”

Georgetti adds, “Many provinces across the political spectrum support expanding the CPP and now it’s time for the federal government to show real leadership. The time for talk has ended and the time for action to expand the Canada Pension Plan is now.”

Georgetti will also be available through December 16 to comment on the progress and outcome of the finance ministers’ meetings.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils.

Web site:
Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour

Related Articles

Let’s grasp this opportunity to shape a fair Canada for everyone

By Hassan Yussuff, as published in The Hill Times. Across the generations, our loved ones are anxious about the future. Polls show that millions of Canadians are worried about the rising cost of living, the increasing precarity of work, climate change, and so much more. The newly elected federal government has a lot to do to alleviate these types of…
Read More

Unions mark Gender Equality Week with election demands

Canada’s unions are marking Gender Equality Week 2019 by calling on federal political parties to commit to creating a fair Canada for everyone. “Gender Equality Week was created to celebrate recent gains while reflecting on the work that needs to be done to improve gender equality and women’s rights across Canada,” said Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour…
Read More

Working families have a lot at stake this election

By Hassan Yussuff You can be forgiven if you’ve avoided thinking about the upcoming federal election all summer, but Labour Day is here. That means it’s time to return to the fall routine and start thinking about how you are going to cast your ballot. You may have seen politicians working the barbecue circuit, vying for the support of workers…
Read More