UPP Gaining Momentum with Provinces

There is growing recognition of the need for a large, affordable and accessible plan that will provide Canadians who have no workplace pension plans with additional coverage beyond the current CPP maximum. Alberta Minister of Finance Iris Evans has been very vocal in her support for such a plan.

“I don’t want to be pushy here, but I really believe it’s time for a movement forward,” she told the Calgary Herald.

Stating that she would prefer a National plan, she said that Alberta and British Columbia will push ahead with the Alberta-B.C. (ABC) plan recommended by the Joint Expert Pension Review Panel last November if the Federal government will not demonstrate leadership on this issue.

“It’s not going to slow our horses out here”, she added.

CARP wrote to Minister Evans enclosing copies of our pension reform submission to the Finance Committee as well as our proposal for a Universal Pension Plan. We look forward to discussing our proposals with her in the near future.

Click here to read a copy of CARP’s letter to the Minister.

According to Minister Evans and from discussions we have had with other Provincial Finance Ministers and opposition critics, there is growing provincial recognition for the need to create this sort of supplementary plan. Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have all demonstrated varying degrees of interest.

Finance Ministers are meeting in Whitehorse this December and it is hoped that Finance Minister Flaherty’s provincial counterparts will let him know they want the creation of the UPP to be on the agenda for discussion.

CARP is calling for the establishment of a UPP modeled on the CPP with mandatory enrolment, a payroll deduction mechanism, professional management involving the members, a mandate that is focused entirely on optimal performance and independence from government or any single employer.

Recognizing that there may be more than one worthwhile model to discuss, CARP has set out the primary goals of a universal pension plan – universality, adequacy and robustness – and we have identified some of the options that have been suggested.

When the pension reform process is formally engaged, these and no doubt many more options will be submitted by the various stakeholders. The ultimate result, however, must improve on the status quo in material ways. To read our full proposal and discussion paper, please click here Read more

Keywords: pension reform