Ontario Government’s ORPP Announcement: Good but not Great

ontario

April 14, 2016

Toronto, ON: CARP supports the Ontario Government’s action to improve the retirement readiness of Ontarians. CARP continues to strongly advocate for enhancements to the CPP and corresponding improvements in retirement security for all Canadians. We are pleased though, that if CPP enhancements are not made, at least future retirees in Ontario will have increased financial security as they age.

CARP has been consulting with the Government of Ontario on their plans to establish and roll out the Ontario Registered Retirement Plan [ORPP]. Throughout the development process, CARP has consistently advocated for an ORPP design that would match our call for an enhanced CPP.

Earlier today the Government of Ontario introduced Ontario Registered Retirement Plan legislation to enroll eligible employees into the provincial pension plan or a comparable workplace pension plan by 2020. The Act, if passed, would enshrine in legislation key requirements of plan design, including participation, contributions, benefit types and plan sustainability. The act would ensure employers and employees across the province have the information needed to prepare for implementation, with enrolment starting in January 2017 and the collection of contributions phased in, starting on January 1, 2018. The government said they will continue to formalize additional plan design details, including those that have been previously announced. CARP welcomes the clarification that the ORPP will be managed by an independent, arms-length organization with a mandate to maximize returns for plan members.

The Ontario Retirement Pension Act seeks to expand coverage to more than 4 million Ontario workers. CARP sees more opportunity in helping all Canadians, with or without a workplace pension plan, to be better prepared for their retirement by enhancing the Canada Pension Plan, as promised by the current federal government. The Ontario government expressed their commitment to working collaboratively with the federal government on a national solution: CPP enhancements that address the needs of future retirees.

CARP believes retirement income security is a national issue urgently in need of a national solution. CARP has long called for an increase to the CPP as part of its vision for pension reform. CARP members expressed their concern when federal, provincial and territorial ministers met in December of 2015 but failed to commit to concrete actions. CARP members expect Prime Minister Trudeau to fulfill the promises he made at CARP’s AGM in 2014 and CARP’s headquarters during the election campaign in September 2015. CARP looks to the upcoming Federal, Provincial and Territorial Finance Ministers meeting to see urgent, concrete action on CPP enhancements.

Wanda Morris, VP of Advocacy for CARP noted “While CARP welcomes any measure that will improve retirement security for tomorrow’s retirees, we remain deeply concerned that an Ontario-only solution neglects the retirement security of those outside Ontario and results in a duplication of bureaucracy within the province. We call on Prime Minister Trudeau and the federal government to prioritize working with all provinces and territories to take concrete action on creating an enhanced CPP now.”

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