Jim Flaherty 's Position Statement on Pension Reform

April 2010: We reached out to a variety of politicians and invite them to inform our readers of their views on pension reform by drafting a position statement for publication. Here are the answers we received:

Canadians work hard to realize their retirement dreams, and deserve a strong voice in deciding how best to make the retirement income system serve their needs.

That is why I am holding cross Canada and online consultations on this important question, as are many of my provincial and territorial counterparts.

The results of these consultations will be the focus of discussion when Finance Ministers from across the country gather in June.

These consultations serve a valuable purpose. Just as broad and detailed consultations inspired our government’s response to the global recession – Canada’s Economic Action Plan – the collective wisdom of Canadians will guide the decisions that federal, provincial and territorial governments will make on the retirement income system.

The provinces and territories are essential partners in meeting our commitment to ensuring a strong retirement system. They play a majority role in the regulation of private defined benefit pension plans, and along with the federal government are joint stewards of the Canada Pension Plan.

Our collective efforts will build upon a retirement income system that is already strong, according to the OECD and other experts,

That doesn’t mean we cannot do even better. All Canadians, of all ages, have an interest in ensuring the continued strength of our retirement income system, one that will help them live in dignity and comfort once they leave the workforce.

As I have made clear, we are open to fully exploring all options to improve the system. As the consultation process has unfolded, my colleagues and I have been taking detailed notes of everything people are saying and highlighting many good ideas. We will move forward on good ideas, while doing no harm to the parts of the system that are already working well.

I invite you to reflect on these considerations, and send me your views through the online component of my consultations at http://www.fin.gc.ca/


Jim Flaherty

Keywords: pension reform