The Heavyweights Step In!

April 14, 2009
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Today CARP, The Canadian Association of Retired Persons released a series of advocacy articles aimed at creating major pension reform in Canada.

At initial glance there are certianly some very intersting proposals and ideas originating from the articles in this month’s CARP on-line forum. As Zoomers

Pension Reform: the status quo is not an option
This article has brought attention to the clamour across the country for pension reform. It notes some of the pension reform commisions that have been struck across the country to review pension issues.
One intersting note about this article is the call for universal access by all Canadians to a form of defined benefit plan. These type of plans have been the ones that have created the pension crisis we are in and would only be a intergenerational burden with the next generation picking up the tab.
The most positive call to action for this article is a Pension Summit of the First Ministers and Finance Ministers. Included is a list of the emails for all of Canada’s Finance Ministers who will hear the message loud and clear over the next few days.

Need to expand the Canada Pension Plan
CARP calls for a complete overhaul of the CPP program. This is an attempt to ensure that all Canadians will have a reasonable retirement income.
One of the ambitious objectives of this article is for a replacement income of 70% for all retired Canadians. This is a great objective but would call for a doubling of contributions from 9.9% to almost 20% of income.

Pension Reform – It Starts with You
Pierot makes the case for increasing the contribution limits for higher income Canadians to allow for more accumulation into retirement plans.
Pierot makes his case by starting off by pointing out the large disparity between private and public sector pensions. This article classifies public sector plans as first class and the average Canadian’s retirement plan as economy class.

“About 2.7 million public sector workers (more than 80% of the public sector) travel first-class as members of defined-benefit (DB) pension plans. After a 30-year career, a worker earning $80,000 will have an indexed pension integrated with the Canada Pension Plan that pays $48,000 per year for life and is worth about $1 million.

The 23% of private sector workers with pension plans are mostly travelling coach. Many belong to defined-contribution (DC) pension plans that don’t promise a guaranteed pension.

With no pension plans, the remaining 77% of private sector workers (10.6 million) are travelling standby.”

Whatever the outcome of these articles they are sure to create a ripple throughout Canada. Let’s hope for the best.

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