Manitoba Minister of Finance’s Response to CARP CPP and PRPP Open Letter

Editor’s Note: On December 5th, 2012, CARP issued an open letter to Canada’s Finance Ministers calling on them to fulfill their 2010 promise to enhance the CPP and to facilitate PRPPs and implement better safeguards.  Click here to get more background via CARP’s news release.

Responses from the Provincial Finance Ministers are now starting to trickle in, we will post them as they continue to arrive. 

January 14th, 2013

Dear Ms. Eng:
Thank you for your letter of December 5, 2012 with your recommendations for how to proceed with reforms to Canada’s retirement income system.  I agree with you that a comprehensive approach to strengthening the system is necessary, and that this solution must include an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).  I also agree that for Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) to be successful, provincial rules would have to be harmonized to ensure plans are portable.
At our December 16-17 meeting in Quebec, my fellow Finance Ministers and I continued our discussion on ways to improve Canada’s retirement income system.  The strength of the system remains a priority for all Finance Ministers.  We reviewed the work done by officials on a modest expansion of the CPP and considered other retirement savings strategies.
Manitoba is very supportive of moving forward with a modest, phased-in and fully-funded expansion of the CPP.  We continue to believe that this is the most practical and effective way to address concerns surrounding retirement savings.  The finance ministers were not in a position to move ahead on a CPP expansion at this time, but we have asked our officials to continue to review modest expansion options.  We have agreed to further discussions at our next meeting.
Ministers also reaffirmed support for PRPPs and agreed on the importance of a high degree of harmonization across jurisdictions.  I am working with my federal and provincial colleagues to consider how this could best be achieved.  Manitoba supports PRPPs as part of the comprehensive strategy for strengthening the retirement income system agreed to by Finance Ministers in June 2010, which also includes strengthening the CPP and promoting financial literacy. 
Thank you once again for your letter and for the input your organization has provided on pension reform.
Sincerely,  Originally signed by
Stan Struthers,
Manitoba Minister of Finance