OTTAWA ― The Canadian Labour Congress is pleased Ontario has pledged to continue to press for an expanded Canada Pension Plan at this week’s Council of the Federation meetings.
Ken Georgetti, the President of the Canadian Labour Congress says he was pleased to learn that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is keeping CPP expansion on the agenda for the premiers to discuss. The leadership of provincial governments have been a key factor building majority support in favour of increasing the amount that Canadians save through the CPP to avoid a future retirement income crisis.
“While the federal government drags its feet, it falls on the provinces to lead the way to ensure that Canadians have enough for a decent retirement after a lifetime of work. The future cost of caring for those who don’t have a workplace pension to help them save for retirement – housing, health care, community and social services – will be our children’s to bear, if government fails to act now,” says Georgetti.
According to Georgetti, it’s time for the Premiers to make it crystal clear to the federal government that the formula required to expand the CPP already exists and it’s time to get on with the work to make it a reality.
“The time for excuses is over. We’ve got 40 years of experience with voluntary pooled pension schemes, whether you call them RRSPs or PRPPs. The bottom line is they don’t get the job done. They are an inadequate and expensive savings vehicle for the vast majority of Canadians, and the federal government knows it. They just need to stop listening to financial industry lobbyists and the selective arguments of some selfish business interests.” he said.
A recent Harvard University study echoed the Canadian government’s own findings earlier this year that showed improving taxpayer subsidies (deductions for PRPP or RRSP contributions and Tax Free Savings Accounts) only benefit people who are already actively saving for retirement, whereas automatic contributions (like CPP premiums) greatly increase the savings of passive savers – the large majority of people who need a retirement plan like the CPP.
Georgetti says “The choice for today’s political leaders is stark – you can help business save a little more today by dragging your feet on retirement income security or you can take steps to prevent a retirement income crisis that will result in a generation of impoverished seniors whose care will come at a very high social and economic cost to the Canadian public and business alike.”
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: www.canadianlabour.ca Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour