Pension experts call for expansion of the CPP
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 13, 2011 3:50PM EST
OTTAWA - A group of pension experts, including a former chief actuary of the Canada Pension Plan, is calling on Canada's finance ministers to commit to expanding the CPP.
In an open letter Tuesday to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his provincial and territorial counterparts, the group said a growing body of research indicates that many Canadians will likely have inadequate savings to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
"Several recent studies project that a significant proportion of middle-income earners risk a non-trivial reduction in their living standards upon retirement," said the letter signed by the CPP's former chief actuary, Bernard Dussault, and five others.
The other signatories included Bob Baldwin, an expert adviser for the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions; Keith Horner, a pensions consultant and a former federal Finance Department official; Jonathan Rhys Kesselman, the Canada research chair in public finance at Simon Fraser University; Monica Townson, an economic consultant who served on the Pension Commission of Ontario, and Michael Wolfson, the Canada research chair in population health modelling/populomics at the University of Ottawa.
Canada's finance ministers are to meet in Victoria next week.
Topics up for discussion include Ottawa's proposed Pooled Registered Pension Plan framework, the triennial review of the Canada Pension Plan and the state of the economy.
A report by Townson for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggested last week that more retiring Canadians will fall into poverty and require government assistance under the guaranteed income supplement program without an expansion of the CPP.
In place of expanding the CPP, Ottawa last month tabled legislation on a new savings device -- pooled registered pension plans that allow small firms to offer their employees a voluntary vehicle to build up pension equity.
But critics say Canadians already have similar savings programs, including registered retirement savings plans and the tax-free savings plan that aren't being fully utilized.