May 27, 2015

By Jane Brown

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Opposition MPs in Ottawa call it an about face. Without releasing many details, Finance Minister Joe Oliver has announced that the federal government is considering allowing Canadians to increase contributions to the Canada Pension Plan.

He says the goal is to help Canadians save for retirement, suggesting Canadians need choices when it comes to retirement savings.

With the next election less than five months away, NDP Finance Critic Nathan Cullen says the government’s move is an attempt to attract the votes of Canadians who are concerned about their pensions.  Cullen says if the Tory government was serious about enhancing the CPP,  it “would have done it already.”

Liberal Finance Critic Scott Brison accuses the Conservatives of swiping the idea of voluntary CPP expansion from his party’s 2011 election campaign platform.

Until now, the governing Conservatives have long been opposed to expanding the CPP.  It’s an idea supported by the New Democrats and advocacy groups, such as  CARP – A New Vision of Aging.

“This is another way that people, and especially your audience, can think about saving for retirement without obliging them to do so.  No one’s going to make people increase their CPP payments, but if you want to, and perhaps it’s tax efficient to do it that way, you would have the opportunity to do it,” explained Zoomer Radio’s Financial Analyst Kim Parlee of TD Wealth Management.

Here in Ontario, a call to improve the CPP by the Wynne Liberals has been repeatedly rejected by the federal Conservatives.  The rejection has prompted politicians at Queens Park to put in a motion a plan for a Made In Ontario Pension Plan to be introduced in 2017.

Also at Queens Park, MPPs yesterday passed a bill to bring in Pooled Registered Pension Plans, or PRPPs, to help with voluntary retirement savings.



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