07/30/2015 11:38 EDT | Updated 07/30/2016 05:59 EDT

Ontario Liberals want federal support for pension plan

With a federal election call looming, Ontario is demanding the Conservative government drop its opposition to the
creation of a provincial pension plan.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver wrote his Ontario counterpart earlier this month warning Ottawa would not help implement the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan or make any legislative changes to allow it to be treated like the CPP for tax purposes.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa says there are at least 28 programs administered by Canada Revenue Agency and 88 data exchange agreements between the federal and provincial governments.

He directed much of his criticism Thursday at Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

"He's gonna have a gold-plated pension plan that's going to provide provide tremendous benefit for himself. But he's denying this right for Ontarians," he said."

And Sousa says the federal government has a co-operative agreement with the Quebec Pension Plan and made legislative changes to the Income Tax Act to allow higher contributions to the Saskatchewan Pension Plan.

Ontario would face much greater costs to set up and administer its pension plan if it can't get the co-operation of the Canada Revenue Agency.

Oliver said the Ontario pension plan would amount to a job-killing payroll tax because it would require contributions of up
to $1,643 from employers and workers in any company that does not have a workplace pension.

The Ontario Liberals argue the plan is needed because the CPP is inadequate and too few people have workplace pension plans.