Dec 17, 2012

By Jane Brown

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The Canada Pension Plan will be the focus of talks today north of Ottawa in Chelsea Quebec, as the nation’s finance ministers gather for their annual meeting.   Ontario’s Dwight Duncan is in favour of expanding CPP, suggesting support from two-thirds of the provincial finance ministers is enough to move forward.

CARP members are also strongly in support of improving the Canada Pension Plan.  Susan Eng is the vice president of advocacy for CARP- a New Vision of Aging.  She tells Zoomer Media News,  one proposal is to increase the percent of pre-retirement income.  “Right now, you can get up to about 25-percent, up to a maximum based upon an income of $50,000.  So your amount of pension is somewhere around $10,000.  What the modest proposal is going to be is to increase that from 25-percent to 35-percent, so you would get a little bit more in your pension.

Another proposal is to increase the level of income from $50,000 to $60,000 or $70,000. But Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is still holding out on moving forward.  He says the economy is still too weak to boost CPP benefits because employers would have to pay higher premiums.

Instead, Flaherty is expected to present some options for modest enhancement of the plan at today’s meetings, along with a request for provinces to adopt a system of voluntary pooled pension plans.

Ontario’s government has already said it will not go ahead with the pooled plan concept unless there’s also action on the C-P-P.


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