Did we just get Pension Reform and No One Noticed?

So, what did the letters say?

Some modest increases to CPP benefits with the attendant increases in contributions and allowing the private sector to establish multi-employer pension plans which would include the self employed. Federal and provincial officials have been tasked with developing options, costs etc.

Maybe that’s why there has been media silence on the issue – a bit anti-climatic. The provinces are pretty much lined up on the CPP changes and the private sector is busy re-arranging their business plans to accommodate a potential $40 Billion worth of business. So that will make them somewhat more amenable to regulations to contain costs and ensure accountability. But without loud detractors, no controversy, no media. Besides there’s the “fake lake” keep them busy.

The backlash calling the very modest CPP proposals job killing payroll taxes has already started but their histrionics are properly ignored. Even if the CPP benefits are doubled as suggested by the labour movement and the NDP – which the PEI announcements specifically said would NOT be the case – the maximum additional CPP contribution to double the ultimate CPP pension from $11,800 to $23,600 is $2,596 per year split between the employer and employee – approximately $108 per month for each. The changes are expected to be much more modest.

And for all the disingenuous hand-wringing about low income workers not being able to afford more contributions – as if the naysayers were truly worried about that group – a person earning $20,000 a year would pay about $45 more per month [matched by the employer] to double his/her pension from $5,000 to $10,000. And there could be an exemption or deferral if even that amount were a strain -one hopes that people move out of the low wage jobs eventually when there could be provision for them to make up their contributions.

Obviously, this is not a done deal. Much remains to be done and this is the time to further have your say. The politicians will want to know what you think of the proposals and what more needs to be done. Fill in the survey or use CARP e-Voice to have your say.

And before we get more emails about dealing with current retirees, let me assure you that our advocacy includes recommendations to increase the OAS.GIS as well as removing mandatory RRIF withdrawals and changes to existing CPP and GIS rules to better help retirees make ends meet in a challenging economic environment. You can add to that list by writing to us at advo[email protected] or just send your suggestions directly to your MPs.

CARP will monitor developments over the summer recess and report back, – anything else? Oh yes, we got the “Those Who Helped Canada” Day –National Seniors Day will be October 1st every year.

Keywords: pension reform