CARP calls for relief for retirees and better protection of pensions


April 20, 2009

CARP calls for relief for retirees and better protection of pensions

Ottawa, Ontario: In its submission to the Finance Subcommittee, CARP will call for bold leadership and immediate action to repair Canada’s pension system.

“The fallout from the current economic crisis is especially hard on retirees and demonstrates that the current pension system fails to adequately provide for our retirement security. And not only are those with RRSPs and employer sponsored pension plans watching their retirement dreams evaporate, nearly 30% of Canadian families don’t even have any retirement savings.,” said Susan Eng, Vice President, Advocacy of CARP.

Eng will be appearing before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to present CARP’s views on pension reform and immediate relief for today’s retirees.

Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Time: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Location: Room 237-C, Centre Block, Parliament Hill

Eng will be available for media comment immediately following the committee meeting.

Eng will be presenting the results of a poll of its members. Over 3,700 responded with overwhelming support for a universal pension plan for the nearly 1 in 3 Canadians without any retirement savings.

CARP is also calling for a Pension Summit of the First Ministers and Finance Ministers to initiate and coordinate pension reform measures to protect the retirement security of all Canadians and ensure the material participation of knowledgeable representatives of plan members and retirees.

“Until recently, pension reform has been the quiet preserve of pension experts, often to the exclusion of those most affected and least able to influence the management of their pension savings. This must change, not only because it is inequitable but also because today’s retiree will no longer accept the status quo. Millions of Canadians are looking to all levels of government for bold leadership to ensure that protection of their retirement security remain the top public policy priority,” added Eng.

Immediate relief is also needed for today’s retirees who won’t benefit from pension reform. This includes a two year moratorium on RRIF withdrawals, unlocking Locked-in Funds [LIFs] to let people access their own money and improving income supports for those relying entirely on Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplements.

“One of the core goals of any country’s pension system is to prevent poverty in the older population. OAS, CPP and GIS play an important role but more needs to be done to help older Canadians living in poverty,” added Eng.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Susan Eng– cell phone VP, Advocacy, CARP