Provincial Responses to CARP’s December 2012 Open Letter on Pension Reform

In advance of the December 2012 meeting of Finance Ministers, CARP wrote an open letter calling for action on the 2010 promise to improve retirement security for all Canadians. CARP’s letter to ministers urged action on CPP enhancement, PRPP modification, and for a supplementary Universal Pension Plan. CARP received formal responses from several provinces, including New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Read excerpts and link to the full letters below:

New Brunswick:

“As the Minister responsible for the Pension Benefits Act in New Brunswick, I am supportive of looking at options that build on private-sector involvement in pension plans and provide flexibility[…]New Brunswick currently has a Pension Task Force examining our pension legislation. As part of this project, the Pension Task Force will examine the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act and the related regulations adopted by the Federal government to determine how they can be utilized to best suit the retirement needs of the people of New Brunswick.”

-Marie-Claude Blais, New Brunswick Minister of Justice and Attorney General


“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.”

– Stan Struthers, Manitoba Minister of Finance


“With respect to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Saskatchewan continues to support deferring any decision on enhancing the CPP until there is some experience to indicate how the voluntary PRPP approach is embraced and how that may impact overall retirement savings.  We remain concerned about the impact increased CPP contributions may have on employers and lower-income employees, and we recognize that employers and employees should be able to set their own financial priorities.”

-Ken Krawetz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance


“Albertans should be given the freedom and responsibility to choose how to best plan their retirement savings.  At this time, we believe that PRPPs are preferable to expanding the CPP.  PRPPs provide a simple, low-cost, effective way of improving pension coverage for employees of small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as the self-employed.  PRPPs allow individuals who currently do not participate in a pension plan to access a pension plan, with the advantages of consistent, automatic contributions made by payroll deduction.  Expanding the CPP would impact all employees and employers in Canada, regardless of need.”

-Doug Horner, President of Treasury Board, Minister of Finance

Read CARP’s original 2012 open letter

Read CARP’s action timeline on pension reform