Federal Finance Minister visits Winnipeg for meeting on overhauling pension plan

Originally published on the CTV News website on April 12th, 2010. To go to CTV News Website please click here

Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty visited Winnipeg Monday as part of a cross-country trek to get feedback on how to reform Canada’s pension plan.

Flaherty said that the talks have implications for all citizens.

“If some Canadians are left behind, they’ll ultimately be looking to other Canadians to help them out so we all have a stake in the outcome of these discussions,” said Flaherty.

Some retirees are watching the direction the discussions take.

Emile Brabent worked for more than 50 years as a mechanic but now in retirement he struggles to stretch his $1700 per month in government pension.

“I can just barely make it,” said Brabent.

His situation isn’t unique and some financial experts believe dwindling pensions will become the norm if the public pension system isn’t changed soon.

On Monday, Flaherty called the Canada Pension Plan the envy of others around the world. He said it currently is secure for another 75 years and is worth preserving.

Some groups said they’re encouraged the government is taking steps to address pension concerns.

“I think the politicians are listening. I believe they can’t ignore this one and I believe there will be changer. Whether or not it’ll be enough, we’ll see,” said Susan Eng of the Canadian Association of Retired People.

After meeting with Canadians during the current cross-country trek, the federal government will next meet with officials from the provinces and the territories by early summer to exchange opinions.

Flaherty said all options are currently on the table, including a complete overhaul of CPP.

© CTV News

Keywords: pension reform, CPP