CARP members will be disappointed that the country’s finance ministers once again failed to act on CPP. They have agreed keep talking.

December 21, 2015

Toronto ON: CARP members will be disappointed that the country’s finance ministers once again failed to act on CPP. They have agreed keep talking.

The Finance ministers announced that after discussing a CPP increase at their federal, provincial and territorial [FTP] finance ministers meeting, they will continue to consult and discuss the issue.

Finance minister Bill Morneau tried to put an optimistic face on the deliberations which ended with a commitment to keep talking and consulting despite the volumes of research and consultation reports posted on the Finance Department’s own website.

Saskatchewan’s finance minister was emphatic that “doing nothing” was one of the options they are considering. Saskatchewan goes to the polls this Spring. Otherwise, the 3 percent of the population represented by that province does not factor into the formula for deciding on the CPP.

 “CARP members will not appreciate the state of our country’s financial leadership that can simply decide to keep talking after the need to act has been well settled. They have given a clear political mandate in two major elections on what they want – specifically a CPP increase. What part of that declaration was unclear to the finance ministers?

  • Susan Eng, Executive Vice-President CARP

According to media reports, some premiers had already signalled that they were hesitant about whether they will join in the consensus needed to amend the CPP [two-thirds of the provinces with two-thirds of the population plus the federal government’s consent]. Any of the larger provinces could potentially veto the process. If both BC and Quebec withhold their consent, there will be no agreement to increase the CPP. If one agrees, there will be the required consensus to let this move forward.

Even if they agreed today, any change to the CPP cannot take place for three years.

“All this posturing is really getting old. The federal and Ontario elections were fought and won on this as a major part of the platform.

 It is well past time to act on ensuring that all Canadians can save adequately for their own retirement. Even if they agree today, we still have to wait three years for change to happen – plenty of time for the provinces to see if their arguments hold any water.

 All the political foot dragging to date has had the silver lining – Canadians now know what’s at stake, and like CARP members, support a CPP increase by wide margins.

 The finance officials have all the facts and analyses at hand, the implementation details are not mysterious – all that is missing is political will.

 So there will be no patience among CARP members certainly for premiers who are seen to be delaying this file any further.”

  • Susan Eng, Executive Vice-President CARP

The last time the CPP increase was on the table was at the FTP Finance Ministers’ meeting in December 2013 where there was said to be a consensus among the premiers but then junior Minister of Finance took the issue off the table, thus enraging the premiers and prompting Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne to propose the ORPP for Ontario residents only. While CARP members support the ORPP, they would prefer a national plan that would be portable and universally accessible.

The CPP increase has been debated, researched and virtually implemented [ORPP] for the last several years. Various models have already been canvassed.

Certainly, CARP members surveyed have consistently supported an increase to the CPP, with mandatory employer contributions and a defined benefit.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission. CARP has 300,000 members nationwide.