The CARP Poll Report on Pension Reform

Key Findings

June 14, 2013: Two thirds of CARP members are aware of PRPPs and more than half disagree they are the answer to chronic under-savings and retirement insecurity. The majority disagree with the federal finance minister that the economy cannot withstand increased CPP contributions and benefits, and most agree CPP enhancement is the best answer for the economy.

Two thirds agree the provinces should demand movement on CPP enhancement as a condition of their support for PRPPs, three quarters think there is enough support among Canadians to enhance CPP and the majority say their own personal vote will depend on a party’s commitment to enhancing CPP.

CARP members are pessimistic, however, both about the chances for significant pension reform, and for their children enjoying the retirement security they did. While they believe significant enhancement to CPP can eliminate poverty among seniors, they hold out less hope for a modest enhancement, as discussed by the finance ministers. On average, 22% is the amount seen as an appropriate enhancement to CPP contributions and benefits.

There is agreement that more seniors will live in poverty if CPP isn’t enhanced, and that the economy will ultimately suffer too. The most commonly mentioned messages for Canada’s finance ministers are all about CPP enhancement, not PRPPs. Moreover, members agree that, while the benefit of enhancing CPP will only be felt by future generations, they approve of enhancement now.

In an ominous sign for the ruling Conservative Party, which has always been able to count on the support of about one half of CARP members, they are now in second place to the Liberals.


CARP members are urgent in their desire for CPP enhancement to fix Canada’s pension crisis. While pessimistic about the chances for reform, they agree the cost of not enhancing CPP is too high, and they will withhold their votes from candidates who do not support it. They recognize these decisions are made to benefit future generations, not themselves.

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