Ottawa – November 23, 2013 – After 3 years of lobbying and campaigning by UFCW Canada and the Canadian labour movement, provincial and territorial governments are coming to the conclusion that expanding the CPP is the most efficient, effective and affordable plan to ensuring Canadians retirement security. In a statement following their October meeting provincial and territorial finance ministers gave a clear message to federal minister Jim Flaherty – the CPP needs improvements.
But while expanding the CPP is within reach our opponents are still pushing their pension myths as part of a reckless agenda to stop the campaign for retirement security. Ultra-Conservative groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) and the Fraser Institute wrongly claim that expanding the CPP is a payroll tax that will cost jobs. These same groups continue to promote voluntary savings plans like RSPs and PRPPs.
The historical record shows that the last time CPP premiums were increased they did not hamper an economic expansion. CPP contributions, like contributions to any pension plan, are deferred wages and comparing an employer’s contribution to a pay roll tax is disingenuous if not an outright lie.
RSPs have proven to be an ineffective way to save for retirement with only 25% of Canadians contributing to RSPs mainly because they can’t afford to. Experts across the country agree voluntary savings vehicles, such as RSPs and the private pooled savings scheme (PRPPs) are a non-solution for the vast majority of Canadians without a workplace pension plan.
For our opponents no time is the right time to expand the CPP and ensure the retirement security of millions of future retirees. Concerns over the effects of premium increases are unwarranted and should not be allowed to block this important reform.
The time has come for the federal government to quit the delays and show the leadership that is needed to expand the CPP. We can and must do better for the 11 million Canadians without a workplace pension and for future generations.
Provincial, territorial and the federal finance ministers will be meeting again in mid-December. Join the campaign for Retirement Security by telling Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty it’s time to get the job done: Expand CPP and provide Canadians with real retirement security.