Ontario Pension Plan Floated at Queen's Park

Queen's Park

This article was written by Jane Brown and published by Zoomer Radio News on October 16th, 2013.  Ms. Brown also conducted a radio interview with Susan Eng that aired on AM740 and Classical 96.3FM.  To find this article on the Zoomer Radio website, click here. To find other articles by Jane Brown, please click here.

Ontario residents could soon be able to take advantage of a provincial pension plan in addition to the Canada Pension Plan.  A Globe and Mail report says Finance Minister Charles Sousa is expected to announce the framework for an Ontario pension plan in next month’s Fall Economic Statement.  The move would only be made if his federal and provincial counterparts won’t agree to enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan when they meet in December.  Susan Eng is the Vice President of CARP, A New Vision of Aging for Canada.  She tells Zoomer Radio News, “The focus here is for a universally acceptable pension plan so that people who don’t have workplace pensions have a place to save safely and adequately for their own retirement.  So since the federal government is resisting any change to the CPP, I think it’s terrific that Ontario is going to go ahead and with its own pension plan because it will be large enough in the province of Ontario to provide the same benefits.”

But it could be a non-starter.  The report says the minority Liberals are also aware that requiring both workers and their employers to pay new premiums could easily be portrayed by their political opponents as a tax hike.  Insiders say participation in an Ontario pension plan would almost certainly have to be mandatory rather than optional in order for it to achieve its intended purpose.  Only one-third of the Canadian work force is currently covered by a registered pension plan and savings rates have gone down in recent decades prompting concerns about the income security of younger generations when they reach retirement age.