On August 24th 2010 the McGuinty Government announced a series of pension reforms. We asked stakeholders and politicians (both in government and in opposition) for commentary. At press time, on September 9th 2010 these are the responses we had received:
When approached by CARP, Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress added “The CLC is pleased to be able to count on CARP in its advocacy for better retirement security for everyone” to the statement provided below:
CLC pleased by Ontario’s move to strengthen pension system: but Georgetti says province should offer more protection
OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress is pleased by Ontario’s intention to strengthen the province’s pension system but disappointed that the government’s announcement does not offer workers the support they need if company pension plans falter.
On August 24, Ontario’s Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced measures to shore up the funding of defined benefit pensions. Those measures include additional funding for Ontario’s Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund (PBGF) so it can assist employers to meet their pension obligations in times of crisis.
“Mr. Duncan’s pledge that more money will flow into the PBGF is positive news but we are not at all pleased with the amount of pension guarantee that is offered to workers,” says Ken Georgetti, CLC president.
The maximum of money available to Ontario workers under the PBGF will continue to be capped at $1,000 per month. An expert commission on pensions appointed by the Ontario government had recommended that the amount be increased dramatically.
“We believe that workers whose pension plans are in trouble or go bust should be insured for up to $2,500 per month and that hasn’t happened. The government ignored the advice of its own expert commission,” Georgetti says.
Georgetti says he is pleased that in his announcement Minister Duncan reiterated Ontario’s commitment to expand the Canada Pension Plan. “Labour’s top priority is to have the CPP improved and Ontario is playing a leadership role on this front.”
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca
Keywords: labour, pension reform