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The federal government will not help Ontario in any way in implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). "Take a hike," was the federal government's basic message. We will not help you improve pensions unless you do it our way. And our way is simple: Canadians should do it themselves. Just figure it out. There is no retirement crisis, says the Harper government. Never mind that our mutual fund industry has among the highest fees in the world, while our best public pension funds have among the lowest costs despite excellent performance. Never mind that the capital markets are increasingly tilted against the interests of ordinary people. Never mind that employers have been abandoning defined-benefit plans for decades. Never mind that some of the most credible researchers in the country have called for a significant enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan.
This year, Equal Pay Day falls on April 20th. It may be too soon to call this a trend, however, some have projected that based on this rate it will take another 50 years or so to reach pay parity. This may be well and good for the female labour force of 2065 and beyond; however, what does the economic profile forecast for working women of today? Historical data paints a bleak future portrait of single elderly women. When segmented further by such criterion as ethnicity, the forecast presents a graver outcome for women of minority with a higher propensity of this population to live out their end-of-life years below the poverty level.
Given 25 years of stagnant wages for middle-income earners and real wage decreases for lower-income earners, it's not surprising how difficult it is for people to save. Canadians have a low, and declining rate of saving, with some people using their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) as unemployment insurance programs.