Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

November 17, 2011 10:40 ET

Harper Conservatives Failing to Address Retirement Income Crisis

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2011) - Legislation creating pooled registered pension plans is an ineffective and woefully inadequate way to address Canada's retirement income security crisis. Canada's largest union is calling on the federal government to quit stalling with half-measures and to start acting with the provinces on urgently needed reforms to public pensions.

"This pool registered pension scheme is a great deal for banks and the finance industry, but does little to address the very real needs of Canadians not able to save for retirement," said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. "A better and more cost-efficient option is expanding the Canada Pension Plan. It's baffling why the Harper Conservatives have turned their backs on this far more effective route to helping the over 11 million Canadians without a workplace pension."

CUPE is advocating for a doubling of CPP benefits by gradually increasing contributions to the public pension. This phased-in measure will eventually mean Canadians will receive 50 per cent of their pre-retirement income in CPP benefits, rather than the current insufficient 25 per cent.

"Polls have shown that 74 per cent of Canadians don't make contributions to RRSP and other private pension vehicles because they can't afford it. This new PRPP legislation does nothing to address this simple fact," said Moist. "All Canadians should have a right to a secure, decent income in retirement. Expanding CPP is the best way to achieve that for most Canadians."

Moist is calling on the provincial and territorial finance ministers to pressure the federal government to move ahead with CPP reforms when they meet with Finance Minster Jim Flaherty next month.

"I know many premiers share our concerns, that CPP expansion is a far more efficient and substantive response to the retirement income insecurity issues looming over millions of Canadians," said Moist. "Expanding CPP is just the right thing to do for all Canadians and future generations."

Contact Information