The upcoming meeting of federal and provincial finance ministers will touch on what's become a politically charged debate about expanding the Canada Pension Plan. Proponents have tried to convince Canadians they are not saving sufficiently for retirement with some even suggesting we are on the brink of a retirement crisis. These views simply do not reconcile with the available empirical evidence.
Canadians are not using RRSPs enough, and those that do are in the higher income brackets. The people who need help saving for retirement are those earning under $100,000 -- i.e. most Canadians. So the goal is to ensure that any change has broad effect and target the reasons why people are not saving.
As our political leaders deliberate expanding the CPP, they would do well to consider the evidence which does not support the notion of a broad retirement income crisis. They also need to consider that a compulsory expansion to CPP could reduce private savings and the flexibility they afford Canadians.
Labour Day is about more than a well-deserved day off. It is a time to celebrate the important contributions working people make to our economy. It is also a good time to reflect on what is needed to improve the economic and social well-being for all workers. Economic recovery is being undermined by federal government actions over the last two years that erode workers wages, including: exploitation and fast-tracking approval for business to employ temporary foreign workers at wages below market rates; cuts to Employment Insurance and forcing workers to work at lower wages, continuous interference in the collective bargaining process on the side of employers, as well as attacks on unions and labour rights.
I read an article the other day that brought up a problem that sadly, happens more than we think; dying before you collect Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement benefits. The message was clear and correct -- a lot of people contribute a lot of money into CPP and never receive an income payment. Is this fair? I don't think so.
I am writing an open letter to urge you to show leadership and honour your commitment to meet and work with the provinces to provide Canadians with the opportunity to increase their retirement investments in the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). You have the opportunity to do the right thing and improve the pension savings of all working Canadians in this country.
We've got to come clean about the unethical use of our retirement funds. There isn't enough money to expand the Canadian Pension Plan because the surplus was earmarked to boost the military-industrial complex. When our hard-earned money isn't being used to cause bloodshed, it's going to companies affiliated with the CPP's own CEOs and the Alberta oil sands.
How would you feel if someone told you that every one of your paycheques was being used to support war crimes and keep the companies accused of these atrocities rolling in lucrative business? And how would you feel if you lived off the avails of torture and bloodshed through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), upon your long-awaited retirement after paying into it? This appears to be our dirty little secret, that Canadians enjoy prosperity at the unethical demise of others.
Imagine it's March, 2013 and you discover to your considerable horror that you must pay the government $9,000 in addition to the taxes you normally fork over. Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn't it? Well, you and I, and every other man, woman and child in Canada are each on the hook for an extra $9,000 to pay for the $300 billion (or more) in promises to public sector pension plans that governments don't have the money to pay.
A Bank of Montreal poll found that almost a third of young Canadians haven't saved a penny for retirement, and only 10 per cent have given much thought to exactly how much money they're going to need to retire. Clearly, we need to get these folks saving, and fast. I'd like to see today's young Canadians -- particularly those without a gold-plated public sector worker or MP pension -- wind up with something, rather than nothing for their retirement. PRPPs can help employees at private sector small businesses save money for the future.
Bill C-25, an Act Relating to Pooled Registered Pension Plans received Royal Assent on June 28 this year, making it officially part of Canadian Law. Unless the cost of administration is low, and unless the pooled amount of investment is high -- the banks will profit and workers will continue to struggle to make ends meet before and after retirement.