Federal Budget 2018

Ottawa, ON, February 28, 2018 – When the 2018 Federal Budget was announced this week, CARP was quick to point out that there was nothing concrete in it to help protect current and future corporate pensioners.
 
While the budget acknowledged corporate pensioners , the Government promised only to obtain feedback from pensioners, workers, and companies over the coming months.
 
This recognition happened because of CARP and Canadians’ demand for legislative change over the past several months to put pensioners first.
 
But a promise of feedback isn’t enough.
 
According to CARP’s VP of Advocacy, Wanda Morris “Canada is an international laggard when it comes to pension protections – and this budget does nothing to change that situation.”
 
Despite enhancements to the Wage Earner Protection Program for employee earned compensation such as severance and vacation – there is still NO protection for retirees’ earned pensions. “The Government is prepared to put employees at the front of the line when it comes to severance and vacation payments. But why aren’t retirees protected as well?” said Morris.
 
CARP has been calling for legislative changes to give pensioners “super-priority” status in the event of a bankruptcy or restructure. Pensioners should rank ahead of other creditors when it comes to who gets their money first. The Government wrote that it is committed to “finding a balanced way forward.”
 
CARP and its members will continue to work to ensure that the opportunity to protect pensioners is not missed in the next federal budget.
 
Wanda Morris notes, “It must be a condition of corporate investment in this country that companies make good on their employee obligations. CARP rejects the status quo that sacrifices pensioners financial security for the sake of investment dollars.”
 
CARP members are strongly in favour of super-priority status for pensioners. A recent survey revealed support of 83% with 4% opposed and 13% neutral. In addition, a CARP petition for super-priority garnered over 28,000 signatures.
 
What’s the Good News?
National Pharmacare

 
CARP is pleased with the Government’s commitment to create an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.
 
CARP has long advocated for the need to improve access and affordability of medications for Canadian seniors. While older Canadians in some provinces have reasonable coverage, seniors in others face high co-pays or deductibles.
 
In a 2017 survey, 8 percent of CARP members reported considerable or extreme financial strain from buying prescribed medications (BC was highest at 14 per cent, Ontario lowest at 6 per cent). A further 25 percent reported some financial strain (BC was highest at 33 percent, Ontario lowest at 22 percent). It is not surprising that 87% of CARP members support consistent drug coverage across all of Canada.
 
“While we are pleased with this initiative, we have seen past efforts fail. CARP pledges to closely monitor that situation to make sure that Canadians finally get the pharmacare system they deserve,” said Morris.
 
CARP is the largest seniors advocacy organization with 300,000 members in Canada. Our mandate is to improve healthcare and financial security, and fight against ageism for older Canadians.

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